Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.
A Look Back at 1987
What are some fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1987?
- President Reagan took full responsibility for the Iran-Contra affair, and the 100th U.S. Congress convened.
- On October 19, Black Monday ravaged Wall Street as the Dow plunged “an astonishing 22.6%.”
- The FCC voted to repeal the Fairness Doctrine, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Rotary International must admit women.
- The Great Storm devastated many parts of the UK, the temperature reached 105°F in Sacramento, and a February nor'easter delivered heavy, wet snow to the Mid-Atlantic.
- About 2,800 members of the National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians ended a 118-day strike against NBC.
- Automobile manufacturer Chrysler bought competitor American Motors.
- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak left the company as a full-time employee, and computer programmer John McAfee created one of the first antivirus programs.
- Back in the year 1987, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was elected to a third consecutive term.
- Construction began on the Channel Tunnel, which connected Great Britain and France.
- A monstrous iceberg nearly 100 miles long broke loose from Antarctica.
- North Carolina adopted milk as the official state beverage, and the alligator became the official state reptile of Florida.
- Red M&Ms were back in the marketplace after being banned for 11 years.
- Campbell’s introduced its line of instant dry soups.
- The drama Thirtysomething premiered on ABC, the sitcom Married with Children debuted on Fox, and the musical La Cage aux Folles closed on Broadway after 1,761 performances.
- Platoon won an Oscar for Best Picture, The Golden Girls (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and That’s What Friends Are For won a Grammy for Song of the Year.
- In the year 1987, the New York Giants were the Super Bowl champs, the Minnesota Twins won the World Series, and the Edmonton Oilers clinched the Stanley Cup.
- Stephen Roche won the 74th Tour de France, Al Unser, Sr. won the 71st Indianapolis 500, and Alysheba won the 113th Kentucky Derby.
- Inflation was 3.65%, a new Ford Mustang cost $9,209, and unemployment dipped to 5.8%.
- The prime rate hovered around 9.00%, an ounce of gold was $486.50, and the retail price for a gallon of gas averaged 95 cents.
- The New York Yankees played their 13000th game, over 12 million microwaves were sold in the U.S., and 500,000 people celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Here are the five most popular TV shows from 1987-88:
- The Cosby Show (NBC)
- Roseanne (ABC)
- A Different World (NBC)
- Cheers (NBC)
- 60 Minutes (CBS)
Here are ten food and beverage trends for the year:
- Angel hair pasta
- Capri Sun
- Cool Ranch Doritos
- French onion soup
- Pasta salad
- Shrimp cocktails
- Sugar cookies
Whether you’re a millennial, a 50-something, or a baby boomer, this article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1987. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, famous authors and novels, cool sports facts, and other interesting pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1980s-themed trivia quiz.
Table of Contents
For easier reading, I have divided this article into the following categories:
- Grocery Prices in the Year 1987
- History Facts From the USA and World
- Sports Trivia
- Entertainment News
- Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
- Nobel Prize Winners
- Best-Selling Books
- Most Popular Television Shows From 1987-88
- Highest-Grossing Films
- Horror Movies From 1987
- Biggest Pop Music Artists
- Top 40 Songs for the Year
- Favorite Video Games
- Food and Beverage Trivia
- Famous Weddings
- Well-Known People Who Died in 1987
- Best-Selling U.S. Cars
- America’s Largest Corporations
- Retailers and Brands From 1987 That Are Gone
- Companies and Brands That Were Launched
1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1987
These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ.
- Apples (Rome Beauty): $1.29 for a three-pound bag
- Bacon (Armour): $1.69 for a one-pound package
- Baked beans (Van Camp’s): 59 cents for a 16-ounce can
- Candy (Gummi bears): $2.99 for a one-pound package
- Cereal (Ralston, Chex): $1.59 for a 12-ounce box
- Cheese (Borden, American singles): $1.99 for a 16-ounce package
- Chicken (Tyson, leg quarters): $2.49 for a one-pound package
- Cocoa (Nestle Quik): $4.99 for 40-ounce can
- Coffee (Folgers): $1.99 for an 11.6-ounce can
- Fish (Chicken of the Sea, solid white tuna): 99 cents for a 6.5-ounce can
- Frankfurters (Hygrade): 99 cents for a one-pound package
- Grapefruit: Four for 99 cents
- Ham (Virginia): $1.39 a pound
- Hot Pockets: $2.19 for a 10-ounce package
- Ice cream (Louis Sherry): $2.19 for a half-gallon carton
- Juice (Ocean Spray, grapefruit juice): $1.99 for a half-gallon bottle
- Juice (V8): 99 cents for a 40-ounce bottle
- Macaroni (San Giorgio): $1.19 for a three-pound box
- Margarine (Fleischman’s): $1.89 for a two-pound tub
- Mayonnaise (ShopRite): 99 cents for a quart jar
- Milk (low fat): $1.79 for a half-gallon container
- Oranges (Sunkist): Five for 99 cents
- Peanut butter (Jif): $1.99 for an 18-ounce jar
- Pickles: $1.19 for a 32-ounce jar
- Pizza (Elios, frozen): $1.19 for a 16-ounce package
- Popcorn (Orville Redenbacher): $1.29 for a 16-ounce jar
- Potato chips (Pringles): 99 cents for a 16.5-ounce container
- Potatoes (Russet): $1.99 for a 10-pound bag
- Rice (Carolina): 88 cents for two 16-ounce boxes
- Soup (Campbell’s, assorted flavors): 99 cents for a 10.6-ounce can
- Spaghetti sauce (Prego, assorted flavors): $1.49 for a 14-ounce jar
- Spaghettios: 88 cents for two 15-ounce cans
- Strawberries: $1.49 per pint
- TV dinner (Banquet): $1.19 for an 11-ounce package
- Yogurt (ShopRite): $2.00 for five eight-ounce cups
- Waffles (Aunt Jemima, frozen): $1.20 for a 15-ounce box
2. History Facts From the USA and World
- In 1987, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, and George H. W. Bush was Vice-President.
- The U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 5.8%.
- The rate of inflation was 3.65%. In other words, $1.00 in 1986 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.04 in 1987.
- In 1987, Russet potatoes cost $1.99 for a ten-pound bag, bacon was $1.69 for a one-pound package, and two 15-ounce cans of Spaghettios were 88 cents. Jif peanut butter cost $1.99 for an 18-ounce jar, a gallon of milk was $2.28, and a dozen eggs were 78 cents.
- The average price for a gallon of gas was 95 cents.
- A first-class stamp cost 22 cents.
- The median household income was $24,350, up from $22,400 a year earlier.
- The average price for a new house was $92,000, and the median price for an existing home was $85,500.
- The average monthly rent was $395.00, up from $385.00 in 1986.
- The federal minimum wage was $3.35, which is equivalent to $7.62 in 2019 dollars.
- The prime rate hovered around 9.00%, and an ounce of gold averaged $486.50.
- On the last day of trading for the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 1,938.
- On January 3, the 100th U.S. Congress (1987-89) convened. History.House.gov tells us that “Democrats regained control of the Senate and held the House after the 1986 elections. Texan Jim Wright succeeded the retiring Thomas P. ‘Tip’ O’Neill of Massachusetts as Speaker.” For the 100th Congress, there were 435 members of the House, including 258 Democrats and 177 Republicans.
- On January 17, President Reagan signed a “secret intelligence” order that authorized the sale of arms to “moderate elements within and outside the Government of Iran,” with the goal of strengthening those elements, gaining intelligence, and “furthering the release of the American hostages held in Beirut.”
- On January 22, convicted Pennsylvania politician R. Budd Dwyer shot and killed himself on live national television during a press conference.
- On February 4, Congress voted to override President Reagan’s veto of the $20 billion clean water legislation.
- On March 9, Chrysler Corporation announced that it was buying American Motors Corporation for about $1.5 billion.
- On March 23, former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt resigned as chairman of the Social Democratic Party.
- On April 12, Texaco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the Texas Court of Appeals upheld “a $10.5 billion suit brought on by the Pennzoil Company.”
- On May 4, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Rotary International must admit women.
- On May 7, the temperature reached 105°F in Sacramento, CA.
- On May 24, an estimated 500,000 people celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. Vintag.es remarks that “the masses came on trains, buses, taxis, boats, bicycles, skates, strollers, wheelchairs, and on foot. With the bridge closed to vehicles, a sea of thousands of walkers marched onto the bridge from both ends of the 1.7-mile span. While the huge crowd was the enduring memory of the 50th birthday, other activities were underway—a parade of vintage cars from the 1937 festivities, fireworks over the bridge that evening, and Tony Bennett and Carol Channing entertained at an outdoor concert on Crissy Field in the Presidio.”
- On June 6, the New York Yankees played their 13000th game.
- On June 11, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was elected to a third consecutive term.
- On June 12, President Reagan challenged Mikhail Gorbachev—the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union—to “tear down” the Berlin Wall.
- On June 26, Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. retired.
- On July 1, New York City radio station WFAN-AM began America’s first 24-hour, all-sports radio format.
- On July 17, the Dow closed above 2,500 for the first time.
- On August 4—in a 4-0 decision—the FCC voted to repeal the Fairness Doctrine, “prompting key proponents in Congress to renew vows to place into law the 38-year-old policy requiring broadcasters to air all sides of important public issues.”
- On August 12, President Reagan admitted that the Iran arms-Contra policy went astray and accepted responsibility.
- On October 15-16, the Great Storm of 1987—a “violent extratropical cyclone” with hurricane-force winds—ravaged many parts of the UK. MetOffice.gov.uk confirms that “With winds gusting at up to 100mph, there was massive devastation across the country and 18 people were killed. About 15 million trees were blown down. Many fell on to roads and railways, causing major transport delays.”
- On October 16, 338,500,000 shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange, setting an all-time record.
- On October 19, Black Monday occurred on Wall Street as the Dow plunged “an astonishing 22.6%.” It was the biggest one-day percentage loss in history, and “even bigger than the 1929 stock market crash, just before the Great Depression.” Money.CNN.com confirms that “By the closing bell, the Dow stood at 1,738.74, down 508 points. A crash like that today would equal more than 5,000 points on the Dow.”
- On October 23, the Senate rejected Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court by a roll call vote of 42–58.
- On November 5, a monstrous iceberg—twice the size of Rhode Island—broke loose from Antarctica, “dramatically altering the frozen shoreline where famed explorer Richard E. Byrd established his Little America base camp nearly six decades ago.”
- On November 12, heavy snow closed schools from DC to Maine.
- On December 8, President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed a treaty that eliminated medium range nuclear missiles.
- On December 15, digging began on the Channel Tunnel, a 31.35-mile rail tunnel that linked the island of Great Britain with the European mainland.
3. Sports Trivia
Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions are a welcome addition to any trivia night quiz.
- On January 1, Oklahoma defeated Arkansas in the Orange Bowl.
- On January 1, Arizona State beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
- On January 1, Nebraska defeated Louisiana State University (LSU) in the Sugar Bowl.
- On January 25, the New York Giants won Super Bowl XXI by beating the Denver Broncos.
- In May, the Edmonton Oilers clinched the 24th Stanley Cup by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers.
- In May, Al Unser, Sr. won the 71st Indianapolis 500.
- On May 2, Alysheba won the 113th running of the Kentucky Derby.
- In July, Stephen Roche (Ireland) won the 74th Tour de France.
- In October, the Minnesota Twins won the 84th World Series by beating the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
- NBA Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
- NCAA Basketball Champions: Indiana
- NCAA Football Champs: Miami
- U.S. Open Golf: Scott Simpson
- U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Ivan Lendl/Martina Navratilova
- Wimbledon (men/women): Pat Cash/Martina Navratilova
4. Entertainment News
- Heartthrobs and fashion icons for 1987 included Carol Alt, Christina Applegate, Kim Basinger, Candice Bergen, Naomi Campbell, Diahann Carroll, Cher, Cindy Crawford, Elvira, Debbie Gibson, Melanie Griffith, Susannah Hoffs, Kathy Ireland, Audrey Landers, Diane Lane, Kelly LeBrock, Heather Locklear, Traci Lords, Elle Macpherson, Madonna, Princess Diana, Victoria Principal, Stephanie Seymour, Jewel Shepard, Brooke Shields, Heather Thomas, Cheryl Tiegs, and Christy Turlington.
- Kellye Cash (Tennessee) won the Miss America crown.
- Michelle Royer (Texas) became Miss USA.
- Top-grossing Broadway shows were Me and My Girl, Cats, Starlight Express, Les Miserables, La Cage aux Folles, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Broadway Bound, Fences, The World According to Me, I’m Not Rappaport, and Dreamgirls.
- Broadway shows that opened in 1987 included A Month of Sundays, All My Sons, Anything Goes, Blithe Spirit, Dreamgirls, Fences, Into the Woods, Les Miserables, Penn & Teller, Pygmalion, Stardust, Starlight Express, Stepping Out, The Comedy of Errors, and The Mikado.
- At the 59th Academy Awards, which honored the best films of 1986, Platoon won an Oscar for Best Picture, and Oliver Stone (Platoon) won an Oscar for Best Director. Likewise, Paul Newman (The Color of Money) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God) won an Oscar for Best Actress. Finally, Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
- At the 39th Primetime Emmy Awards, The Golden Girls (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and L.A. Law (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Likewise, Michael J. Fox (Family Ties) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Rue McClanahan (The Golden Girls) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Finally, A Year in the Life (NBC) won an Emmy for Best Miniseries, and Promise (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special.
- Actress Rita Hayworth and actor and dancer Fred Astaire both passed away.
- Steve Winwood’s Higher Love won a Grammy for Record of the Year, and Paul Simon’s Graceland won a Grammy for Album of the Year.
- That’s What Friends Are For—written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager—won a Grammy for Song of the Year.
- Vincent Van Gogh’s painting Sunflowers was sold to a Japanese buyer for $39.9 million.
- Shelly Long, who played Diane Chambers on the TV sitcom Cheers, made her final appearance as a regular on the show.
- On January 3, Aretha Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
- On January 21, blues musician B. B. King donated his collection of 7,000 records to the University of Mississippi.
- On February 20, David Hartman—the anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America—quit after 11 years on the show.
- On March 23, the soap Bold & Beautiful premiered on CBS.
- On April 5, the sitcom Married with Children debuted on Fox.
- On May 15, the final episode of The Late Show with Joan Rivers aired on Fox after Rivers was fired by the television network.
- On September 29, the drama series Thirtysomething premiered on ABC.
- On October 4, The Last Emperor, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and starring John Lone, Joan Chen, and Peter O'Toole, debuted at the Tokyo Film Festival. (In 1988, The Last Emperor won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.)
- On October 24, 2,800 members of the National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians ended a 118-day strike against NBC.
- On November 14, the musical La Cage aux Folles closed on Broadway after 1,761 performances.
- On December 2, Jennifer Steele (Colorado) became Miss Teen of America.
- On December 10, ABC’s news magazine Nightline was broadcast in the USSR for the first time.
5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
PBS.org explains that pop culture is that loose blend of books, music, fashion and other daily ephemera that contributes to the identity of a society at a particular point in time. In essence, pop culture is a self-portrait created through purchasing power. In the 1980s, radio, film, television, and books carried the essence of American pop culture.
- In 1987, the most popular baby names were Michael and Jessica.
- The average life expectancy at birth in the United States was 74.77 years.
- The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad was $600,000.
- Favorite holiday gifts included the Lazer Tag, Tyco Turbo Hoppers, the Fisher-Price PXL 2000, G.I. Joe action figures, cassette tapes, the Pogobal, Barbie Dolls, Captain Power vehicles, the Storytelling Alf, Pound Puppies, Koosh Balls, Teddy Ruxpin, the Tomy Omniboy 2000, Jem Dolls, the Dozzy Doll, Cabbage Patch kids, the Apple IIGS personal computer, NES games, and the MS pocket phone.
- Banana Republic’s 1987 Holiday Catalog (No. 34) was the last holiday catalog that the retailer ever published. SecretFanBase.com tells us that “The cover illustration by Rob Stein . . . is a marvelous Trompe-l’œil painting of the ‘Giftbook’ with a handwritten shopping list and a pencil refracted through the shopper’s eyeglasses.”
- Fashion trends in 1987 included shoulder pads, mini skirts, leg warmers, huge earrings, fingerless gloves, parachute pants, stirrup pants, and oversized tops.
- Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” was Mikhail Gorbachev, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
- In 1987, Howard Schultz bought Starbucks—a Seattle-based coffee bean business—and began building an empire of coffee bars. CNBC.com tells us that “Schultz [later] navigated the company through tremendous growth while remaining socially conscious. In 1988, Schultz made a commitment to offer health insurance to eligible full- and part-time workers, including all domestic partners of employees. In 1991, Starbucks started offering ‘Bean Stock,’ or company stock, making employees partners in the company.”
- Red M&Ms were back after being banned for 11 years. (Author’s note: In 1976, Red Dye No. 2, a food coloring that was used in everything from ice cream to makeup, was pulled from the marketplace after Soviet scientists claimed that there was a potential link between the dye and cancer. Because of the ban, red M&Ms disappeared from 1976 to 1987.)
- Snapple iced tea beverages were launched, and the first flavor on grocery store shelves was lemon iced tea.
- In 1987, the alligator became the official state reptile of Florida.
- North Caroline adopted milk as the official state beverage.
- Over 12 million microwaves were sold in the U.S.
- The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) banned most uses of sulfites in fresh foods. Sulfites “are used as a food preservative or enhancer,” and were previously added to fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh-looking.
- Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia announced a new ice cream flavor—Cherry Garcia.
- Dairy Queen purchased the Orange Julius chain. CSPDailyNews tells us that with the merger of two major brands, “the Dairy Queen system is rolling out Orange Julius Premium Fresh Fruit Smoothies and Julius Originals to all DQ locations in the United States and Canada."
- In 1987, American chef Charlie Trotter opened his Michelin-starred restaurant—Charlie Trotter’s—in Chicago. TheTrotterProject.org points out that during its 25-year history, Charlie Trotter’s welcomed over 800 aspiring cooks, many of whom cite Charlie Trotter for cultivating the discipline, skill, and curiosity that is necessary for a successful culinary career. Some of Trotter’s former students who have gone on to open successful restaurants are Bill Kim, Matthias Merges, David LeFevre, Mindy Segal, Giuseppe Tentori, Christian Ramos, Michael Taus, and David Myers.
- Campbell’s introduced its line of instant dry soups—Campbell's Cup—that competed with Lipton's best-selling Cup-a-Soup.
- In 1987, the USPS issued their first “special occasion” stamps, which included “Happy Birthday” and “Get Well” stamps.
- On February 6, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak left the company as a full-time employee because he was “frustrated” with the “shifting priorities” at the computer giant.
- In April, MS-DOS 3.3 was launched.
- On June 15, American computer scientist Steve Wilhite at CompuServe introduced the GIF image standard. (Author’s note: GIF is an acronym for graphics interchange format. FileFormat.info tells us that “a GIF is used to store multiple bitmap images in a single file for exchange between platforms and systems. In terms of number of files in existence, GIF is perhaps the most widely used format for storing multibit graphics and image data.” TechTerms.com adds that “Unlike the JPEG image format, GIFs uses lossless compression that does not degrade the quality of the image.”)
6. Nobel Prize Winners
Beth Rowen tells us that winning a Nobel Prize is a life-changing honor. Whether the laureate is an internationally known figure (such as Mother Teresa) or a scientist from obscurity (like Richard R. Ernst), the award brings worldwide recognition that highlights one's life work and provides the funds to continue the mission.
This Nobel Prize information from 1987 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.
- Chemistry: Jean-Marie Lehn, Donald J. Cram, and Charles J. Pedersen
- Economics: Robert Solow
- Literature: Joseph Brodsky
- Peace: Óscar Arias
- Physics: K. Alex Müller and Georg Bednorz
- Physiology or medicine: Susumu Tonegawa
7. Best-Selling Books
This book trivia has been made available courtesy of PopCultureMadness.com.
- A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
- The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
- The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
- Fine Things by Danielle Steel
- The Haunted Mesa by Louis L’Amour
- Hatchet by Gary Paulson
- Heaven and Hell by John Jakes
- I Am Not Going to Get Up Today! by Dr. Seuss and James Stevenson
8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1987-88
This cool TV trivia has been made available courtesy of Nielsen Media Research. How many of these shows do you remember?
- The Cosby Show (NBC)
- Roseanne (ABC)
- A Different World (NBC)
- Cheers (NBC)
- 60 Minutes (CBS)
- The Golden Girls (NBC)
- Who’s the Boss? ( ABC)
- Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
- Empty Nest (NBC)
- Anything But Love (ABC)
9. Highest-Grossing Films
These film facts have been made available courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo.com.
- Three Men and A Baby
- Fatal Attraction
- Beverly Hills Cop II
- Good Morning, Vietnam
- The Untouchables
- The Secret Of My Success
- Lethal Weapon
- The Witches of Eastwick
10. Horror Movies From 1987
Horror films from 1991 included Hellraiser, Evil Dead 2, The Lost Boys, Prince of Darkness, The Monster Squad, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Dolls, Opera, Bad Taste, Stage Fright, The Stepfather, Angel Heart, Curse, Return to Horror High, The Believers, The Outing, Predator, Bloody New Year, Slaughterhouse, Slumber Party Massacre II, A Chinese Ghost Story, Silent Night, Open House, Zombie High, Terror Night, Night Screams, Epidemic, Anguish, Demon of Paradise, and Twisted Nightmare.
11. Biggest Pop Music Artists
This information has been made available courtesy of Billboard.com.
Popular music artists in 1987 included Anita Baker, Atlantic Starr, The Bangles, Billy Ocean, Bon Jovi, Club Nouveau, Cutting Crew, Europe, Fleetwood Mac, Freddie Jackson, Genesis, George Michael, Herb Alpert, Huey Lewis & the News, Janet Jackson, The Jets, Keith Sweat, Luther Vandross, Madonna, Miami Sound Machine, Micheal Jackson, Neal Alexander, Pet Shop Boys, Robbie Nevil, Robert Palmer, Starship, Stephanie Mills, Steve Winwood, Stevie Nicks, Van Halen, The Whispers, and Whitney Houston.
12. Top 40 Songs for the Year
This pop music trivia has been made available courtesy of MusicOutfitters.com. How many of these songs do you remember?
- Walk Like an Egyptian: Bangles
- Alone: Heart
- Shake You Down: Gregory Abbott
- I Wanna Dance With Somebody: Whitney Houston
- Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now: Starship
- C'est La Vie: Robbie Nevil
- Here I Go Again: Whitesnake
- The Way It Is: Bruce Hornsby and the Range
- Shakedown: Bob Seger
- Livin' On a Prayer: Bon Jovi
- La Bamba: Los Lobos
- Everybody Have Fun Tonight: Wang Chung
- Don't Dream It's Over: Crowded House
- Always: Atlantic Starr
- With or Without You: U2
- Looking for a New Love: Jody Watley
- Head to Toe: Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
- I Think We're Alone Now: Tiffany
- Mony Mony: Billy Idol
- At This Moment: Billy Vera and The Beaters
- The Lady In Red: Chris de Burgh
- Didn't We Almost Have It All: Whitney Houston
- I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For: U2
- I Want Your Sex: George Michael
- Notorious: Duran Duran
- Only In My Dreams: Debbie Gibson
- (I've Had) The Time of My Life: Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
- The Next Time I Fall: Peter Cetera and Amy Grant
- Lean On Me: Club Nouveau
- Open Your Heart: Madonna
- Lost In Emotion: Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
- (I Just) Died in Your Arms: Cutting Crew
- Heart and Soul: T'pau
- You Keep Me Hangin' On: Kim Wilde
- Keep Your Hands to Yourself: The Georgia Satellites
- I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me): Aretha Franklin and George Michael
- Control: Janet Jackson
- Somewhere Out There: Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram
- U Got the Look: Prince
- Land of Confusion: Genesis
13. Favorite Video Games
Popular video games in 1987 included Final Fantasy, Contra, Double Dragon, Mega Man, Punch-Out!, Dungeon Master, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Pac-Mania, Maniac Mansion, Dragon Split, Metal Gear, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, Street Fighter, 1943: The Battle of Midway, APB, Wizards and Warriors, Driller, Rastan, Blades of Steel, Operation Wolf, R-Type, The Goonies II, Galaga ‘88, Avengers, Space Quest, and Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa.
14. Food and Beverage Trivia
Here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1987:
- Ample sauces and garnishes
- Angel hair pasta
- Bagel Bites
- Blackened everything: GrubStreet.com tells us that “Paul Prudhomme touched down in NYC in 1985 with his signature redfish recipe, which involved a coating of ground spices and a rest in a red-hot cast-iron pan. The technique led to ‘blackened everything.’”
- Capri Sun
- Chicken and veal marsala
- Chocolate mousse
- Club sandwiches
- Cool Ranch Doritos
- Crystal Light
- Crème brûlée: The Insider.com tells us that “While crème brûlée existed prior to 1989, it took Le Cirque pastry chef Dieter Schorner to boost its appeal worldwide. . . . Cookbook author Patricia Wells even included a recipe for it in her 1989 cookbook, ‘Bistro Cooking,’ because she felt that it was currently one of the entire world's most favorite desserts.”
- Diet Coke
- French onion soup
- Fruit Roll-Ups
- Goat cheese
- Gobstoppers (a.k.a. jawbreakers)
- Hot Pockets
- Jell-O Pudding Pops
- Microwave popcorn
- Pasta primavera and pasta salad
- Pesto: A sauce that is made from crushed garlic, pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, a hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, and olive oil.
- Planters Cheez Balls
- Quaker Quisp Cereal
- Quiche: GrubStreet.com points out that this “majestic pastry, with its elegant fluted edges and yellow eggy filling, crested in the 1970s and peaked in the early ‘80s with the shame-inducing best seller Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche.”
- Reese’s Pieces
- Sara Lee All Butter Pound Cake
- Shrimp cocktails
- Specialty salad dressings, such as raspberry vinaigrette
- Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine
- Sugar cookies
- Toaster Strudel
15. Famous Weddings
This celebrity news from 1987 has been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.
- On January 3, singer and Miss America Vanessa Williams married public relations expert Ramon Hervey II.
- On May 6, actor Yun Fat Chow wed Jasmine Tan.
- On May 9, actor Tom Cruise married actress Mimi Rogers.
- On June 20, TV host Johnny Carson wed Alexis Mass, his 4th wife.
- On June 25, actress and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus married actor Brad Hall.
- On August 7, actor Tom Selleck wed actress and dancer Jillie Mack.
- On August 24, actor Patrick Dempsey married manager Rocky Parker.
- On September 8, NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice wed Jackie Mitchell.
- On October 11, rock and blues singer Joe Cocker married Pam Baker.
- On November 13, MLB player Cal Ripken Jr. wed Kelly Geer.
- On November 16, actress Lisa Bonet married musician Lenny Kravitz.
- On December 19, retired baseball catcher Johnny Bench wed Laura Cwikowski.
16. Well-Known People Who Died in 1987
These celebrity facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.
- January 9: Arthur Lake (actor)
- January 15: Ray Bolger (singer and dancer)
- February 4: Liberace (comedian)
- February 22: David Susskind (talk show host and producer)
- February 22: Andy Warhol (pop artist)
- March 3: Danny Kaye (actor)
- March 21: Robert Preston (actor)
- March 28: Maria Von Trapp: (author and singer)
- April 2: Buddy Rich (drummer and orchestra leader)
- May 4: Catherine Damon (actress)
- May 14: Rita Hayworth (actress)
- May 18: Wilbur J. Cohen (American social security expert)
- May 24: Hermione Gingold (actress)
- June 3: Will Sampson (actor)
- June 13: Geraldine Page (actress)
- June 15: Walter Heller (American economist)
- June 22: Fred Astaire (actor and dancer)
- June 24: Jackie Gleason (comedian)
- August 7: Nobusuke Kishi (Prime Minister of Japan from 1957-60)
- August 10: I. W. Able (CEO of the United Steelworkers of America)
- August 11: Clara Peller (spokesperson for Wendy’s)
- August 29: Lee Marvin (actor)
- September 5: Quinn Martin (TV producer)
- September 11: Lorne Greene (actor)
- September 22: Dan Rowan (comedian)
- September 23: Bob Fosse (choreographer and director)
- September 25: Mary Astor (actress)
- September 29: Henry Ford II (American businessman and son of Henry Ford)
- November 26: Morton Lowry (actor)
- November 30: James Baldwin (author)
17. Best-Selling U.S. Cars
Courtesy of ThePeopleHistory.com, here are the top-selling U.S. cars for 1987:
- Chevrolet Caprice: $12,510
- Chevrolet Cavalier: $7,395
- Chevrolet Celebrity: $11,010
- Chevrolet Corsica/Beretta: $9,955
- Ford Escort: $6,895
- Ford Mustang: $9,209
- Ford Taurus: $11,808
- Ford Tempo: $9,056
- Honda Accord: $10,925
- Honda Civic: $6,195
- Hyundai: $5,395
- Nissan Sentra: $6,449
- Oldsmobile Ciera: $11,420
- Pontiac Grand AM: $10,269
- Toyota Camry: $11,248
18. America’s Largest Corporations
This information has been made available courtesy of Fortune.com.
- General Motors
- Exxon Mobil
- Ford Motor
- General Electric
19. Retailers and Brands From 1987 That Are Gone
This retailing trivia has been made available courtesy of GoodHousekeeping.com and ShoeMoney.com.
- A&P (grocery store chain)
- B. Dalton (book retailer)
- Blockbuster (video rental store)
- Bonwit Teller (department store)
- Borders (book retailer)
- Chi-Chi’s (restaurant chain)
- Circuit City (electronics chain)
- Compaq (computer company)
- F. W. Woolworth Company (five-and-dime retailer)
- Fotomat (photo-developing chain)
- Hills Department Store (discount store chain)
- Howard Johnson's Restaurants
- Kaufmann’s (department store)
- Kinney Shoes (shoe retailer)
- Marshall Field’s (department store)
- Montgomery Ward & Company (department store)
- National Record Mart (music store chain)
- Oldsmobile (car brand)
- Pan American (airline)
- Pathmark (grocery store chain)
- Radio Shack (electronics retailer)
- Sharper Image (electronics store)
- Tower Records (retailer that sold records, tapes, and CDs)
- Toys “R” Us (toy and baby products chain)
- Waldbaum’s (grocery store chain)
20. Companies and Brands That Were Launched
This information has been made available courtesy of Ranker.com.
- Adacel: A software technology and systems integrator
- Aeropostale: Clothing and accessories stores
- Allied Telesis: Networking hardware
- Amtrak Express Parcels: Parcel delivery company
- Ascom: Telecommunications
- Burger Time: Regional chain of drive-through fast food restaurants
- Castle Rock Entertainment: Motion picture and video production
- Dreams: Bed retailer and manufacturer
- East Side Mario’s: Canadian chain of casual dining restaurants
- Iron Horse Bicycles: Bicycle manufacturer
- Jones Soda: A company that bottles and distributes soft drinks, non-carbonated beverages, and energy drinks
- Mastretta: Mexican car maker
- Maxis: Video games
- Naxos Records: Classical music record label
- Opera Soft: Video games
- Papyrus Design Group: Video games
- Revelation Records: Independent record label
- SERC: Information technology
- Silmarils: Video games
- Telepizza: Restaurant chain
- Video Professor: Education tools
- Wild Oats Markets: Grocery store chain specializing in organic and natural foods
- Winbond: Semiconductor manufacturing
- Woody’s Chicago Style: Franchise hot dog company
- Xratel: Software
- What Happened in 1987 inc. Pop Culture, Prices Significant Events, Key Technology and Inventions
1987 Prices including Wages, Houses and Gas, Toys, Events include Stockmarkets Stock Markets Crash, Kings Cross Tube Station Fire, Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster, (Baby M) Surrogacy Ruling, USS Stark Attacked By Iraq, ...
- Computer History for 1987
- Food Timeline: 1986 to 1990 - Food History Events
1986 - 1990 Food Timeline - Events in the History of the Culinary Arts: Inventions and Patents, Restaurants, Births, Deaths, Agricultural Advances, etc
List of the top or longest running businesses/companies/firms founded, started or launched in 1987; incl. corporations and public/private enterprises. Alphabetical. sortable by column.
- Dead People Server - Celebrities and Notable People Who Died in the Year 1987
Dead People Server - Celebrities and Notable People Who Died in the Year 1987
- 1987 - Famous Weddings & Divorces - On This Day
Famous weddings and divorces in 1987. See which famous celebrities and historical figures married and divorced in 1987.
- Top Rated Programs - 1985-1990
- Popular 80's Brands That Are Gone (But Not Forgotten) - ShoeMoney
From 'Stranger Things' to 'Glow', 80's nostalgia has been enjoying a major comeback. But what happened to the iconic brands that didn't survive into the 90's?
- Iconic Stores You Grew Up With That Are No Longer Around
Blame it on businesses that couldn’t adapt to changing tastes or the convenience of shopping in our PJs . But, sadly, many once-iconic retailers are now distant memories.
- 1987 Yearly Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo
Yearly box office results for 1987.
- 1987 | Morris County Library
Historic prices in Morristown, as printed in the Daily Record, for the year 1987.
Top 100 songs for the year 1987 from the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 charts.
- 1987 History, Trivia and Fun Facts
1987 History, Pop Culture, Trivia and Fun Facts.
- 1987 History Trivia and Fun Facts
World Changing Event: The Black Monday crash on Oct. 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 508 points, or 22.6%.
- The Most Popular Snacks and Candy from the ’80s
Feast your eyes on our favorite popular food from the '80s––but be warned, hunger pangs and strong nostalgic cravings are ahead.
- 11 Dining Trends From the ’80s That Are Poised for a Comeback
Pasta salads, chicken marsala, and blackened everything.
- '80s Restaurant Food Trends... | Mirror80
There's nothing like the junk food kids had at their fingertips during the Decade of Decadence, but there's something extra special about the high-end dining experience created by chefs experimenting with beautiful presentation. Learn about '80s rest
© 2019 Gregory DeVictor
Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on November 14, 2019:
Ashly, thank you for the comment. It’s always interesting to find out what happened in a certain year.
Ashly Christen from Illinois on November 13, 2019:
1987 the year of my birth So a good year! I love that you collectes all these great things in one place. I will be sharing with my feloow 87 babies!
Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on November 12, 2019:
Kari, thank you for your comment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the article. One event that I distinctly remember from 1987 was Black Monday. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. What an unforgettable day that Monday was!
Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 12, 2019:
I enjoyed this greatly! I was in my mid 20's in 1987 and I remember so many of these things. Great article, it made me smile several times.