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Time Capsule 1987: Twins’ first World Series win, another underground rescue, another ‘superstorm’

Return with us to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when the Twins topped the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games for their first world championship. It was quite a year in the news realm, too.

A return trip to the World Series was not to be — this year — for the Minnesota Twins, but that’s no reason not to relive their first world championship.

Yup, it’s Time Capsule Time again.

We’ve already profiled 1965, the first time the Twins reached the World Series only to lose to Sandy Koufax (and the rest of the Los Angeles Dodgers) in seven games.

So, with the Giants franchise winning its first West Coast World Series, return with us to those thrilling days of yesteryear — in this case 23 years ago, 1987 — when the Twins topped the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games for their first championship.

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It was quite a year in the news realm, too, with everything from dramatic TV coverage of another October underground rescue to an unprecedented summer storm that drenched the Twin Cities metro area.

The October drama that year also captivated the whole nation, which anxiously watched the rescue of a young child, Jessica McClure (now 24), who had fallen down a well in Midland, Texas.

On the weather front, you may not be surprised to learn that last month’s “superstorm” was not Minnesota’s first hyped with that name.

There’ was at least one other “superstorm,” not counting the famed 1991 Halloween blizzard (interestingly, the other year that the Twins won the World Series).

In 1987, a July 23-24 “superstorm” inundated the Twin Cities metro area, producing tornadoes and ferocious straight-line winds and bringing flooding rains that totaled more than 14 inches in some areas.

And a landmark event
1987 also produced a landmark political event, one that eventually led to the end of the Cold War. On June 12, in a speech before West Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, President Reagan delivered his famous “tear down the wall” speech.

A few other big news events
Not all the news, however, was good that year for Reagan, who drew a rebuke from the Tower Commission over the Iran-Contra affair for not controlling his National Security Council staff.

And there was more bad news for Reagan after he nominated former Solicitor General Robert Bork to the Supreme Court to replace the retiring Lewis F. Powell Jr. The Senate ended up rejecting the controversial nomination.

In other big news:

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• Former Gestapo boss Klaus Barbie drew a sentence of life imprisonment for crimes against humanity.

• The world’s population reached 5 billion.

• The Fairness Doctrine, which had required radio and TV to present controversial issues “fairly,” was rescinded by the Federal Communications Commission.

• The much-hyped Harmonic Convergence was observed around the world with little noticeable effect.

• The first National Coming Out Day was celebrated in conjunction with the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

Finance and the economy
• The stock market had a year of extreme ups and downs: The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a high, closing above 2,000 for the first time. But it hit hard times in October, falling sharply on Oct. 19, “Black Monday.” A week later, it dropped another 156 points.

• Alan Greenspan became chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, succeeding Paul Volcker.

• American Motors Corp. was acquired by Chrysler.

• The 4,800-acre Euro Disney Resort (now called Disneyland Paris) moved closer to construction.

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• Canada introduced a $1 coin called the “Loonie.”

• There was other bad news — this time, short term — for the New York Stock Exchange, which had to close down for the day after a squirrel damaged a telephone line.

Consumer snapshot
• A new car, on average, cost just more than $10,300.

• A gallon of gas was 89 cents.

• And a postage stamp cost 22 cents.

Technology, science, inventions and breakthroughs
• Prozac made its debut in the United States.

• The first supernova since 1604 was observed with the “naked eye.”

• The Food and Drug Administration approved the anti-AIDS drug AZT.

• The first criminal was convicted using DNA evidence in England.

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• Work began on the Channel Tunnel joining the United Kingdom and France.

• Thomas Knoll and John Knoll developed the first version of Photoshop.

• Microsoft released Windows 2.0.

• 1987 was shortened by 1 second to adjust to the Gregorian calendar.

• Disposable contact lenses became available for commercial distribution.

• Kitty Litter was introduced in the United States.

• The $1.6 million search for Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, found no evidence of its existence.

Best films: The 1986 Vietnam War movie “Platoon” won the 1987 Oscar. The 1987 Tom Cruise-Dustin Hoffman film, “Rain Man,” won the Academy Award in 1988.

Some of the year’s other big movies: “Three Men and a Baby,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “The Last Emperor,” “Wall Street,” “Dirty Dancing” “RoboCop” and “Moonstruck”

A big book: Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”

Drama: “Fences” by onetime St. Paulite August Wilson

Music: Aretha Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Grammys: Record of the Year: Higher Love,” Steve Winwood; Album of the Year: “Graceland,” Paul Simon; Song of the Year: “That’s What Friends Are For,” Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager

Broadway’s big hits: “Les Miserables,” “Dreamgirls,” “Into the Woods”

• “The Simpsons” cartoon first appeared on “The Tracy Ullman Show.”

• Fox Broadcasting Co. made its prime-time TV debut.

Top-rated shows: “Cosby,” “Family Ties” and Cheers”

Notable premieres: “Married With Children,” “Full House” and “thirtysomething”

Notable finales: “The A-Team,” “Remington Steele,” “Fame” and “Hill Street Blues”

Other Sports
Super Bowl: The New York Giants defeated the Denver Broncos 39-20.

NCAA Basketball Championship: Indiana defeated Syracuse 74-73.

NCAA Football Champions: Miami (Florida) went 12-0.

• Actress and singer Hillary Duff

• Disney’s “High School Musical” phenom Zac Efron

• Singer Ke

• Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow

And the world lost an amazing array of talent and high-profile people:

• Singer and dancer Ray Bolger

Joseph Campbell, American author and expert on mythology

Henry Ford II, president of Ford Motor Co.

• Theater choreographer and director Bob Fosse

• American actor and comedian Jackie Gleason

Lorne Greene, “Pa Cartwright” on TV’s “Bonanza”

• Actress Rita Hayworth

• Actress Hermione Gingold, known for roles in films ranging from “The Music Man” to “Gigi” (shown here with her “prince of love,” Maurice Chevalier)

• Jazz musician Woody Herman

• Film director and actor John Huston

• Actor and singer Danny Kaye

• Pianist and early TV star Liberace

Clare Booth Luce, American playwright

• Actor Lee Marvin

Clara Peller, a “late bloomer” who found short-lived fame in a Wendy’s commercial with her provocative question, “Where’s the beef?” Minnesota connection: Walter Mondale gave the question national political currency, using it to tweak Gary Hart during the 1984 Democratic primaries.

• Jazz drummer Buddy Rich

Dan Rowan, American comedian and “Laugh-In” co-host

• Artist Andy Warhol

• And Fred Astaire, American actor and dancer extraordinaire, shown here with Cyd Charisse in the “Dancing in the Dark” scene from “The Band Wagon.”