1987 News and Interesting Tidbits From History


Hungerford Killing Spree by Michael Ryan
Michael Ryan goes on a killing spree in Hungerford, Berkshire armed with an automatic rifle, a pistol and a hand grenade. He kills 14 people including his mother and a local policeman before killing himself inside a nearby school .








Plane Crash Detroit
Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashes at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan killing 156 people






Greenspan Appointed
President Ronald Reagan announced he was nominating economist Alan Greenspan to succeed Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. He retired from the position on January 31, 2006, handing over the chairmanship to Ben Bernanke.





US Stock market drops 22.6%
October 19th 1987: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 22 percent making it the 2nd largest percentage drop in history in a single day, This was known as "Black Monday" and signaled other markets around the world to drop during October by 20 percent. Many believed that some of the automatic computerized sell programmes used by large financial institutions may have contributed to the fall as they are triggered automatically when certain events / figures occur in the markets and after this date more safeguards were put in place to stop a similar thing happening in the future. The US stockmarket drops 22.6% in one day on October 19 and throughout the rest of the world major falls are recorded by the end of October with Hong Kong dropping by 45.8%.








Hurricane Storm Southern England
Hurricane storm winds batter southern England during the night killing 13 after the worst night of storms in living memory.








Rainbow Warrior is Sunk
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is sunk when French agents plant a bomb on the hull of the boat while docked in Auckland harbour, New Zealand. The Rainbow Warrior had been preparing for a protest voyage to the French nuclear test site in the South Pacific









Earthquake Midwest
A rare earthquake hit 14 states in the Midwest and parts of Canada stretching down to the South. The quake measured 5.0 on the Richter scale and damaged some highway overpasses, also many thousands lost telephone services . The quake lasted between 3 to 15 seconds at 6:49PM.









British Caledonian and British Airways Merger
British Caledonian and British Airways have agreed to a merger which will help them compete on the world stage with the large US Airlines . The merger was investigated by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and after a number of guarantees for staff from British Caledonian the merger was finally given the go ahead in December 1987.









Does Nessie Exist ?
A group of scientists armed with the latest in boats and underwater technology will carry out a full survey of Loch Ness hoping to find proof that Nessie exists. This has proved a great draw to Loch Ness in Scotland as hundreds of journalists from all over the world will watch and report anything and everything to do with this legendary sea monster that has attracted media attention since the 30's when an English surgeon, R.K. Wilson, claimed to have taken a photo of Nessie.








Iran Contra Affair
The house and senate committee begin 3 months of hearings into Iran-Contra affair which was the sale of American arms sold secretly to Iran and some of the proceeds were diverted to Contra Rebels seeking to overthrow the Government of Nicaragua , following the hearings President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on the Iran-Contra affair, acknowledging that talks with Iran had turned into an arms for hostages negotiation.








USS Stark Attacked
An Iraqi Mirage F1 fighter carries an attack using two Exocet antiship missiles on the U.S. Navy warship Stark in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 American sailors. Iraq and the United States called the attack a mistake.







New Nuclear Weapons Treaty
Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in the United States for an arms control summit with Ronald Reagan. The summit resulted in one of the most significant arms control agreements of the Cold War. Reagan and Gorbachev signed off on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty, which called for the elimination of all ground cruise and ballistic missiles and launchers in Europe with ranges of 320 to 3,400 miles.
This was the day that a nuclear weapon treaty was proposed by Gorbachev. The purpose of signing this agreement was to eliminate both U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons from Europe.
The first ever treaty is signed between the Soviet Union and the United States to reduce the number of ground based nuclear arsenals reversing 30 years of nuclear weapons build up during the cold war years.
This treaty signed is referred to as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty 1987.








Terry Waite Kidnapped
Terry Waite a special envoy of the archbishop of Canterbury disappeared while attempting to win freedom for Western hostages held in Lebanon. He was kidnapped by Shiite Muslims and released 4 years later.








Mathias Rust lands in Red Square
A 19 year old West German, Mathias Rust, flying a light plane undetected from Helsinki to Moscow and lands safely in Red Square










Sikh Terrorist Attack Bus
Following Sikh terrorist attacks on Hindu bus passengers which left 72 dead, the Indian army has banned public meetings hoping to stop the backlash by Hindu's on Sikh's in the city of Chandigarh.










Enzo Ferrari unveils Ferrari F40
To celebrate the 40 yrs of Ferrari production Enzo Ferrari unveiled the Ferrari F40 at the factory in Maranello, Italy. The F40 was the fastest road vehicle ever built at that time










Butcher of Lyon Found Guilty Of Crimes Against Humanity
The Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie / Butcher of Lyon and the former head of Gestapo who was extradited from Bolivia to face charges is found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment.









Kings Cross Fire
A fire in a King’s Cross underground station kills 30 commuters and injures dozens of others. It is the worst fire in the history of the city’s underground rail system and was believed to have been caused by rubbish and grease underneath an escalator and a discarded cigarette starting the fire.








Maggie Wins For Third Time
Margaret Thatcher celebrates her third general election win after another landslide victory over the Labour Party.








Tamil Tigers Bombing Campaign
Tamil Tigers plant a massive bomb in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo killing more than 100 and injuring a further 300.
The Tamil extremists known as the Tamil Tigers are fighting for an independent homeland.

The problems continued to worsen with 1,000's killed over the next 15 years but in 2002 the government and Tamil Tiger rebels signed a permanent cease fire agreement with the government agreeing to recognize the Tamil Tigers and the Tamil Tigers dropping demands for a separate state.

In 2004 the problems and fighting have flared up again and rising levels of violence are again threatening the truce.







Ferry Disaster Manilla
The passenger ferry ( Dona Paz )collides with an oil tanker near Manila in the Philippines leaving 4,000 dead. The accident is blamed on overcrowding with the ferry carrying more than twice its stated capacity.








Fox Broadcasting Debuts Prime Time
Fox Broadcasting Co. made its prime-time TV debut with Its first prime time shows, starting on Sunday nights beginning April 5, 1987,


A comedy about a dysfunctional family (Married... with Children) ( Which Aired for 11 seasons )



A variety series (The Tracey Ullman Show). Which spawned the longest-running sitcom and animated series in U.S. history: The Simpsons








The First Intifada
The First Intifada (1987 - 1993) a mass uprising against Israeli military occupation, begins in Jabalia refugee camp and spread to Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Intifada included civil disobedience, general strikes, boycotts on Israeli products, graffiti, barricades, throwing Molotov cocktails grenades and stones at the occupying Israeli soldiers and vehicles.








IRA Bombing West Germany
A British Army base in Rheindahlen, West Germany is targeted by a large car bomb injuring 30 as part of the ongoing war of terrorism by the IRA on British Troops.








Cryonics experiment on Miles
A three-year-old beagle ( Miles ) is anesthetized, temperature adjusted to 68 degrees F. emptied of his own blood, and provided with a clear, synthetic blood that does not clot in the cold, and then almost frozen. Miles was legally dead for the hour he spent at or below 50 degrees before being thawed back to life and given back his blood. Nine months later he was still healthy .
The Cryonics experiment on Miles was carried out at the University of California at Berkeley .








AZT Approved For Use With Aids
The Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of ( azidothymidine ) AZT, a drug shown to prolong the lives of some AIDS patients.

A little known fact is that it was originally intended to treat cancer in 1964 but did not do well in trials, and had an unacceptably high side effect profile.

AZT does not destroy the HIV infection, but only delays the progression of the disease and the replication of virus

AZT is generally used in a cocktail of other drugs to treat AIDS Patients and also as a preventive treatment.








Televangelist Jim Bakker
Televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as chairman of his PTL ministry organization with average viewers numbering over twelve million, amid the scandal involving a former church secretary, Jessica Hahn who was paid $279,000 from PTL funds to keep secret her allegation that he had raped her.
In 1989, after a five week trial in Charlotte, the jury found Jim Bakker guilty on a number of accounting fraud and conspiracy charges, and Judge Robert Potter sentenced him to 45 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine. He was released on Parole in 1993 after serving 5 years and in 1992 Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker were divorced.






Presidential Debates
As the race for the White House hots up many look forward to the time when the two nominees one from the Republican Party and one from the Democratic Party start the Presidential Debates but did you know that from 1988 just about everything to do with the debates is controlled and decided by the parties long before they appear on Television by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) run by party loyalists from both sides.

In 1987 the nonpartisan League of Women Voters (LWV)withdrew from debate sponsorship, in protest of the major party candidates attempting to dictate nearly every aspect of how the debates were conducted.

A copy of their press release below
"The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates ... because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates' organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public. "


Below is a list of the Televised Presidential Debates in earlier years

In 1960 — four debates between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.


In 1976 — three debates between President Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter

In 1980 — one debate between President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan

In 1984 — two debates between President Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale

In 1988 — two debates between George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis

In 1992 — three debates among President George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and independent candidate Ross Perot

In 1996 — two debates between President Bill Clinton and Bob Dole

In 2000 — three debates between Al Gore and George W. Bush

In 2004 — three debates between President George W. Bush and John Kerry








Sotheby's Auction Duchess Of Windsor Jewels
The late Duchess of Windsor's ( Wallis Simpson )Jewels has been sold for £31m ($50m) during an auction in Switzerland. Bidders filled Sotherby's Auction Rooms around the world including New York to have their bids relayed to Geneva.








Speed Limit Increased to 65 MPH
Congress pass laws which allow each state to increase the speed limit on rural roads from 55mph to 65mph.








Supernova 1987A
The light from supernova 1987A ( a gigantic exploding star ) began reaching Earth , it is estimated that the explosion occurred some 170,000 years ago and nearly 1 million trillion miles from Earth.








MP Harvey Proctor
The British Conservative MP Harvey Proctor has appeared in court and is accused of committing acts of gross indecency with two male teenagers








Japan to Kill 100 Minke Whales
One hundred Minke whales were going to be killed in the Antarctic by Japan. Their Fisheries Department termed it “scientific whaling” but some felt it really was an excuse for commercial whaling.







Ivan F. Boesky Convicted Insider Trading
Ivan F. Boesky known as a "Corporate Raider" was investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and was arrested was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street's biggest insider trading scandal.








Peter Wright's Spycatcher Book
Spycatcher is published in the US and quickly becomes a best seller but the British Attorney General has filed charges against the Sunday Telegraph for publishing three articles repeating details from the Spycatcher book which is banned from publication in the UK. Spycatcher is banned in the UK by the British Government because Peter Wright who worked for MI5 as a Senior Intelligence Officer is in breach of his contract and could damage confidence in British security.







Haiti US Diplomats Withdrawn
One hundred and fifty American embassy workers and diplomats were withdrawn from Haiti due to the unstable political situation. They were expected to be home by Christmas. Eighty embassy employees were left behind to take care of essential services. Sixty-four million dollars in aid was withdrawn by President Reagan and Haiti’s national elections were not held because voters were endangered.








UK Soccer Hooligans
Following the increasing violence by soccer hooligans at British Football matches the police have cracked down by carrying out carried out a series of dawn raids with 26 arrests in their biggest operation so far against soccer hooliganism in England. During the raids, police seized a number of items believed to be used by the gangs including knives, a machete and spiked ball and chain, as well as newspaper cuttings reporting on the activities of the two teams' hooligans.








Collapse of Missouri Bridge
A 35-foot section of the Missouri Bridge collapsed on the outskirts of St. Louis. These bridges, which were originally designed for horse and buggy, were closed for 24 hours for repair.








Land Price New York 1987
As more and more areas of land are sold for development of new out of town shopping Malls many can not believe how much the price of land has changed in Syracuse New York, just 10 years ago in 1977 an acre of land was a mere $2,000 per acre and now it commands up to $100,000 per acre








Remembrance Day Enniskillen Northern Ireland
A terrorist bomb has exploded during Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland injuring 63 and killing 11 .








Irises by Van Gogh
Sotheby's ( U.S.A. ) sell the painting "Irises" by Vincent Van Gogh for the record price of $49m a world record for a work of art in 1987.










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