President: Ronald Reagan (R-California)
Vice President: George H. W. Bush (R-Texas)
Chief Justice: William Rehnquist (Wisconsin)
Speaker of the House of Representatives: Tip O'Neill (D-Massachusetts) (until January 3), Jim Wright (D-Texas) (starting January 6)
Senate Majority Leader: Bob Dole (R-Kansas) (until January 3), Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) (starting January 3)
Congress: 99th (until January 3), 100th (starting January 3)
February 9 – Brownsville, Texas is deluged with 7 inches (177.80 mm) of rain in just two hours, and flooding in some parts of the city is worse than that caused by Hurricane Beulah in 1967.
February 11 – The United States military detonates an atomic weapon at the Nevada Test Site.
February 26 – Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes U.S. President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his National Security Council staff.
March 2 – American Motors Corporation is acquired by the Chrysler Corporation
U.S. President Ronald Reagan addresses the American people on the Iran-Contra Affair, acknowledging that his overtures to Iran had 'deteriorated' into an arms-for-hostages deal.
Jonathan Pollard is sentenced to life in prison on one count of espionage.
March 18 – Woodstock of physics: The marathon session of the American Physical Society’s meeting features 51 presentations concerning the science of high-temperature superconductors.
March 19 – In Charlotte, North Carolina, televangelist Jim Bakker, head of PTL Ministries, resigns after admitting an affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn.
March 29 – World Wrestling Entertainment presented WrestleMania III in the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, Michigan. This event was attended by over 90,000 and set an all-time indoor attendance record that stands to this day.
April 7 – Harold Washington is re-elected Mayor of Chicago.
April 27 – The United States Department of Justice declares incumbent Austrian president Kurt Waldheim an "undesirable alien".
April 30 – NASCAR driver Bill Elliott sets all time fastest lap at Talladega Superspeedway. 212.8 miles per hour (342.5 km/h)
May 8 – U.S. Senator Gary Hart drops out of the running for the Democratic presidential nomination, amid allegations of an extramarital affair with Donna Rice.
May 17 – U.S.S. Stark was hit by two Iraqi owned Exocet AM39 air-to-surface missiles killing 37 sailors.
May 21 – Andrew Wyeth, with his "Helga Pictures," became the first living American painter to have a one-man show of his work in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
June 12 – During a visit to Berlin, Germany, U.S. President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
Teddy Seymour is officially designated the first black man to sail around the world, when he completes his solo sailing circumnavigation in Frederiksted, St. Croix, of the United States Virgin Islands.
Edwards v. Aguillard: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that a Louisiana law requiring that creation science be taught in public schools whenever evolution is taught is unconstitutional.
June 28 – An accidental explosion at Hohenfels Training Area in West Germany kills 3 U.S. troopers.
July 1 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan nominates former Solicitor General Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. The nomination is later rejected by the Senate, the first and only nominee rejection to date.
July 17 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 2,500 mark for the first time, at 2,510.04.
August 16 – Northwest Airlines Flight 255 (a McDonnell Douglas MD-82) crashes on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan just West of Detroit killing all but 1 (4-year old Cecelia Cichan) of the 156 people on board (among them Nick Vanos, a center for the Phoenix Suns).
August 19 – ABC News' chief Middle East correspondent Charles Glass escapes his Hezbollah kidnappers in Beirut, Lebanon, after 62 days in captivity.
August 31 – Michael Jackson releases his third solo album Bad.
September 11 – Pope John Paul II visits Columbia, South Carolina and the University of South Carolina.
September 15–16 – Pope John Paul II visits Los Angeles where he visits Dodger Stadium for an interfaith meeting with leaders of other religions, performs a telecommunications conference for local youths, and meets with entertainment leaders at the Universal Amphitheatre.
At a small rally in New York City's Harlem district, televangelist Pat Robertson announces his candidacy for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination.
The day after leaving Los Angeles, Pope John Paul II visits San Francisco, where he meets with several AIDS sufferers.
September 25 – Varroa destructor, an invasive parasite, is found for the first time in the U.S.
October – The Unemployment Rate drops below 6% for the first time since 1979
October 10 – The Reverend Jesse Jackson launches his second campaign for U.S. President.
October 11 – The first National Coming Out Day is held in celebration of the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
October 14–16 – The United States is caught up in a drama that unfolds on television as a young child, Jessica McClure, falls down a well in Midland, Texas, and is later rescued.
Black Monday: Stock market levels fall sharply on Wall Street and around the world.
U.S. warships destroy two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf
October 23 – On a vote of 58–42, the United States Senate rejects President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
October 25 – 1987 World Series: The Minnesota Twins win despite having the worst regular season win–loss ratio for a winner, a record they hold until 2006.
October 26 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average goes down 156.83 points; at the time it is the second largest decrease ever (trailing Black Monday).
November 6 – Florida rapist Tommy Lee Andrews is the first person to be convicted as a result of DNA fingerprinting: he is sentenced to 22 years in prison.
November 17 – The Gulf of Alaska Tsunami hits.
November 18 – Iran-Contra affair: U.S. Senate and House panels release reports charging President Ronald Reagan with 'ultimate responsibility' for the affair.
November 23 – Frank Carlucci is sworn in as the new Secretary of Defense, succeeding Caspar Weinberger.
December – The Unemployment Rate drops to 5.7%, the lowest since July 1979
December 1 – NASA announces the names of four companies who were awarded contracts to help build Space Station Freedom: Boeing Aerospace, General Electric's Astro-Space Division, McDonnell Douglas, and the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell.
December 2 – Hustler Magazine v. Falwell is argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
December 7 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-supervisor on the flight, then shoots both pilots and himself.
December 8 – The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C. by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
December 9 – Microsoft releases Windows 2.0.
December 10 – A squirrel closes down the Nasdaq Stock Exchange when it burrows through a telephone line.
December 22- December 28 – Ronald Gene Simmons goes on a 6-day killing spree in Russellville, Arkansas, killing his wife, children, and grandchildren as they arrived to celebrate the holidays at his home. On the 28th he went on a shooting spree, killing an additional woman and wounding 5 others before surrendering to police. The final death toll was 16. He was tried and eventually executed.
December 29 – Prozac makes its debut in the United States.
Cold War (1945–1991)
Iran–Contra affair (1985–1987)
January 5 – Kristin Cavallari, actress
January 6 – Arin Hanson, Internet personality, comedian, voice actor, songwriter, rapper, animator, and cartoonist
January 29 – Alex Avila, baseball player
February 14 – Joe Pichler, actor missing since 2006
Danny Farquhar, American baseball player
Tiquan Underwood, American football player
April 10 – Jesse McCartney, actor, singer
April 16 – Neil Haskell, actor and dancer
Justin King, American football player
Louis Murphy, American football player
June 2 – Caitlin Mallory, American-Estonian ice dancer
July 28 – John Stevens, singer
August 24 – Jon Scheyer, basketball player
August 25 – Blake Lively, actress
September 7 – Evan Rachel Wood, actress, singer
September 19 – Danielle Panabaker, actress
September 28 – Hilary Duff, actress, singer
October 2 – Matthew Daddario, actor
October 18 – Zac Efron, actor
November 3 – Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped victim, activist and contributor for ABC News
November 5 – Kevin Jonas, actor, singer, songwriter
December 3 – Michael Angarano, actor
December 4 – Orlando Brown, actor, rapper
December 7 – Aaron Carter, actor, singer
December 11 – Clifton Geathers, American football player
December 16 – Michael Lohan Jr., actor
February 22 – Andy Warhol, leading figure in the visual art movement pop art, (born 1928)
October 12 – Alf Landon, 1936 Republican presidential nominee (born 1887)
December 1 – James Baldwin, author and civil rights activist (born 1924)
1987 in the United States Wikipedia
Events from the year 1987 in the United States.