30 years ago: What happened in 1987


30 years ago: What happened in 1987

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Billy Downs/AJC
The DeKalb Super Looper? No, thanks. Here’s a shot of the construction of the Tom Moreland Interchange (better known as Spaghetti Junction) at I-85 north and I-285 in 1987. Its “official nickname” never had a chance.

The year is 1987. Here are a few of the things that happened 30 years ago.

Ronald Reagan is nearing the end of his second term as president. He nominated Robert Bork to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. He was later rejected by the Senate. 

A Belgian Ferry capsizes near Zeebrugge, killing 193 people. 

NASCAR phenomenon Bill Elliot, aka Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, set records at Daytona and Talladega.

The massive monument to vehicular movement now known as Spaghetti Junction opened. Then as now, it was officially known as the Tom Moreland Interchange (named for a former Department of Transportation Commissioner), but many were calling it Malfunction Junction. It even had an official nickname, chosen by a contest winner. Proving that you can’t really choose an official nickname, it’s rarely been referred to as the DeKalb Super Looper. Some things are forgotten for a reason.

The Jimmy Carter Library at the newly constructed Carter Center, opens to researchers.

U2 releases “The Joshua Tree” and Michael Jackson releases “Bad.” The first episode of the TV series “Full House” airs and “The Simpsons” make their first appearance as short clips in “The Tracey Ullman Show.” “Platoon” won best picture at the 59th Academy Awards. 

And a baby named Jessica McClure falls down a well in Midland, Texas. The nation is captivated by the rescue effort, eventually successful. 

Liberace, Fred Astaire, James Baldwin, Rita Hayworth and Andy Warhol died. 

Zac Efron, Colin Kaepernick, Tim Tebow, Blake Lively, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Miles Teller, Ronda Rousey, Michael B. Jordan, Evan Peters, Brooklyn Decker, Samira Wiley and Diana DeGarmo were born.

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