Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s - 1980s - 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s 2030s
Years: 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 - 1987 - 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992
- January 3 - Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- January 4 - An Amtrak train en route to Boston from Washington, DC collides with Conrail[?] engines killing 16.
- January 5 - President of the United States Ronald Reagan undergoes prostate surgery causing worries about his health.
- January 21 - Terry Waite is kidnapped in Lebanon (released 1991)
- January 24 - In Lebanon, gunmen kidnap Alann Steen[?], Jesse Turner[?], Robert Polhill[?] and Mitheleshwar Singh[?]
- February 11 - British Airways is privatised and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
- February 11 - Philippines constitution goes into effect.
- February 11 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
- February 12 - Unabomber bomb explodes in Salt Lake City
- February 16 - The trial of John Demjanjuk, who was accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed "Ivan the Terrible" in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem. He was eventually convicted, but this ruling was overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court[?].
- February 20 - Unabomber: In Salt Lake City, Utah a bomb explodes in a computer store.
- February 23 - Supernova 1987a is observed, the first "naked-eye" supernova since 1604.
- February 26 - Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes American President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his national security staff.
- March 6 - The Herald of Free enterprise[?] ferry capsizes off of Zeebrugge[?], Belgium, killing 189
- March 10 - Reproductive rights[?]: The Vatican condemns the practice of surrogate motherhood along with test-tube babies and artificial insemination.
- March 12 - Les Miserables[?] opens on Broadway.
- March 17 - An Iraqi F-1 Mirage fighter fires two exojet[?] missles at the USS Stark while patrolling the Persian Gulf, killing 37 sailors, wounding 62 others.
- March 19 - Following a scandal involving Jessica Hahn[?], televangelist Jim Bakker resigns from the PTL.
- March 20 - The Food and Drug Administration approves anti-AIDS drug AZT.
- March 22 - Apple announces Macintosh II ja Macintosh SE[?]
- March 30 - Vincent Van Gogh's painting "Sunflowers" is bought for $39.85 million.
- May 8 - Gary Hart drops out of the running for the Democratic Party nomination in the 1988 U.S. presidential election, amid allegations of an extra-marital affair with Donna Rice[?]
- May 11 - The first heart-lung transplant takes place (Baltimore, Maryland).
- May 11 - Klaus Barbie goes on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.
- May 17 - Iran-Iraq War: The USS Stark (FFG-31) is struck by a missile from an Iraqi Mirage fighter killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.
- May 28 - 19-year-old West German pilot Mathias Rust evades Soviet air defense and lands a private plane on Red Square in Moscow. He is immediately detained and will later be released on August 3, 1988.
- April 6 - The White Patriot Party declares "war" against the Zionist Occupation Government (of America)
- June 11 - Margaret Thatcher becomes the first British prime minister in 160 years to win a third consecutive term,
- July 4 - In France, former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (aka the "Butcher of Lyon") is convicted of crimes against humanity and is sentenced to life imprisonment.
- August 19 - Hungerford Massacre in UK. Michael Ryan kills 16 with an assault rifle and then commits suicide
- August 19 - Order of Garter[?] opened to women
- September 7-September 21 - World's first conference on artificial life, Los Alamos National Laboratory
- October 15 - Hurricane force winds cause extensive damage in southern England
- October 14 - October 16 - The US is caught up in a drama that unfolds on television as a young child, Jessica McClure[?], falls down a well and is later rescued.
- October 19 - Black Monday: sharp stock market falls around the world
- November 8 - IRA bomb explodes at Ulster Remembrance Day Service in Enniskillen. 11 bystanders die
- November 18 - Thirty one people die in a fire at King's Cross subway station, London, UK
- December 1 - Channel Tunnel digging commences
- December 8 - first Intifada begins
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 15 - Ray Bolger, actor, singer, dancer
- February 2 - Alistair MacLean, British thriller writer, heart attack
- February 4 - Liberace
- February 22 - Andy Warhol, artist, director, writer
- March 2 - Randolph Scott, actor
- March 3 - Danny Kaye, actor, singer, comedian
- March 19 - Louis-Victor de Broglie, physicist and winner 1929 of the Nobel Prize in Physics
- March 21 - Robert Preston[?], actor
- March 28 - Maria von Trapp[?], singer
- April 2 - Buddy Rich[?], drummer
- April 4 - C.L. Moore[?], science fiction writer
- May 3 - Dalida, French singer
- May 6 - William Casey, controversial director of the CIA
- May 11 - Peter Tosh, musician
- May 14 - Rita Hayworth[?], actress
- May 19 - James Tiptree Jr.[?], science fiction author
- August 17 - Rudolf Hess, Hitler's second-in-command, commits suicide in Spandau[?] prison
- October 19 - Jacqueline Du Pre, English Cellist
- October 20 - Andrey Nikolaevich Kolmogorov, Russian mathematician
- October 31 - Joseph Campbell, author and expert on mythology
- Bob Fosse, choreographer and director