Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

What Happened in 1987?

The year is 1987; there were bright colors everywhere, leg warmers, and dance music is starting to take over the charts. It was also a time of tension and concern, particularly as the Cold War between the US and the USSR reverberated.

1987 was a year worth remembering for plenty of different reasons – however, we don’t expect you to remember the biggest events that unfolded during the 12 months! Fortunately for you, we can, and here are some of the biggest events 1987 had to bring.

In this year

León Febres Cordero


León Febres Cordero, who was president of Ecuador at the time, was kidnapped for 11 hours by followers who supported the then-imprisoned general Frank Vargas. The kidnappers managed to demand Vargas’ release successfully as a result of their kidnap plot.

oil spill


A major oil spill took place in the waters of Finland on February 6th, 1987, as the USSR’s Antonio Gramsci oil tanker wrecked while traveling to Porvoo. The wreckage caused mass spillage into the waters surrounding the area – up to 650 tons of supply were thought to have leaked out.



The first-ever Starbucks branch established outside of the US opened in Vancouver, Canada, on March 1st, 1987. It’s hard to believe that the worldwide chain only started spreading its wings three to four decades ago! Nowadays? There’s said to be more than 35,000 branches all over the world.

the simpsons


US pop culture changed for good on April 19th, 1987, as The Simpsons made their official TV debut via short cartoons on the Tracey Ullman Show. They proved so popular they got their own Christmas special in 1989, and since then, Homer and co have produced hundreds of episodes to become one of the longest-running US TV shows of all time. Ay carumba!

Loughgall ambush


The Loughgall ambush took place as 24 men in the British Army Special Air Service (SAS) ambushed eight soldiers of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). The event resulted in the death of all IRA members involved but also resulted in the death of a civilian.

Berlin Wall Memorial, Berlin, Germany


“Tear down the wall!” June 12th, 1987 saw then-US President Ronald Reagan take a bold stand against Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, demanding that the USSR bring down the Berlin Wall. The wall would fall in the years to follow, and so would the Soviet Union – but Reagan would leave office before these events took place.

interesting facts about Earth


People keep on popping up! As of July 11th, 1987, it’s thought the world’s population reached a record five billion people – and we’re teetering on the brink of almost eight billion people some three to four decades later!

The Hoddle Street massacre


The Hoddle Street massacre in Australia took place on August 9th, 1987. Julian Knight, a teenager, went on a savage shooting rampage in Clifton Hill, Victoria, Australia. In doing so, he killed seven people – 19 were injured, and the killer eventually turned himself over to police. Knight’s true motive has never been revealed, and he remains in prison on seven life sentences.

Los Alamos National Laboratory


Thought AI was something new? It really isn’t! As of September 7th, 1987, the world’s very first conference on artificial life took place in Los Alamos National Laboratory, in the US. The conference would open discussions on biochemistry and robotics, looking decades ahead in time.

Lester Piggott


In shocking news in British sport, it emerged on October 23rd, 1987 that Lester Piggott – one of the most celebrated jockeys in horse racing, period – was imprisoned for three years as a result of tax evasion.

Max Headroom


One of the most bizarre and unexplained events in TV history took place on November 22nd, 1987, as a random signal of someone appearing to mimic TV personality Max Headroom hijacked the stations WTTW and WGN-TV for a minute and a half. No one has ever owned up to the broadcast, meaning it remains an unsolved mystery.

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty


Then-US President Ronald Reagan and then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev officially signed what became known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on December 8th, 1987, helping to soften the threat of nuclear war. However, the treaty would expire in 2019.

1987 was the year of the…

Chinese Year of the Rabbit


Like 1939, 1951, 1963, 1974, 1999, 2011, and 2023, 1987 celebrated Rabbits worldwide, as per the Chinese Zodiac. People born in Rabbit years are quiet, artistic, attentive, and peaceful. The next Rabbit year won't be until 2035.

This page was last modified on February 15, 2024. Suggest an edit