On This Day

Margaret Thatcher

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Full Name: Margaret Hilda Roberts
Profession: British Prime Minister

United Kingdom

Biography: First female British Prime Minister, known as 'The Iron Lady'. While in office her policies became known as Thatcherism, with an emphasis on deregulation, free markets and the privatization of state-owned companies. While support for her government fell in the first term due to high unemployment and recession, her victory in the 1982 Falklands War with Argentina brought her into power in the following year's election.

On the international stage she remained skeptical of the European Community and forged a close ideological alliance with US President Ronald Reagan. After re-election for a third term in 1987, Thatcher's position on the European Community caused a split in her cabinet and her 'poll tax' Community Charge was widely unpopular. She was forced to resign in 1990 after challenges to her leadership of the party by senior Conservatives.

Born: October 13, 1925
Birthplace: Grantham, Lincolnshire, England

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Ox
Star Sign: Libra

Died: April 8, 2013 (aged 87)
Cause of Death: Stroke

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1951-12-13 Future British PM Margaret Roberts (26) weds businessman Denis Thatcher (36) at Wesley's Chapel in City Road, London

Historical Events

  • 1970-06-20 British government of Edward Heath forms (with Margaret Thatcher in the Cabinet)
  • 1975-02-11 Margaret Thatcher defeats Edward Heath for leadership of the British Conservative Party
  • 1979-05-04 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • 1983-01-09 British PM Margaret Thatcher visits Falkland Islands
  • 1983-06-09 Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party wins British parliamentary election
  • 1984-10-12 IRA bombs the Grand Hotel, Brighton, where British PM Margaret Thatcher is staying, 5 die
  • 1984-12-19 Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sign the Sino-British Joint Declaration to transfer Hong Kong back to China in 1997
  • 1985-01-29 Oxford University refuses to award Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher an honorary degree
  • 1986-05-24 Margaret Thatcher becomes 1st British Prime Minister to visit Israel
  • 1986-10-29 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opens the final stretch of London's Orbital Motorway, the M25. Then the world’s longest ring road at 117 miles (188.3 km).
  • 1987-06-11 Margaret Thatcher is 1st British Prime Minister in 160 years to win a third consecutive term
  • 1988-01-03 Margaret Thatcher becomes longest-serving British PM this century
  • 1988-11-16 President Reagan and the First Lady participate in the official state arrival ceremony, meetings and a state dinner with Margaret Thatcher
  • 1990-11-01 Last of Margaret Thatcher's original government resigns, Deputy PM Howe
  • 1990-11-14 Michael Heseltine contests Margaret Thatcher's leadership of the British Conservative Party
  • 1990-11-20 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher fails to defeat Michael Heseltine's bid for leadership of the Conservative Party
  • 1990-11-22 Margaret Thatcher announces her resignation as British Prime Minister
  • 1990-11-28 Conservative Party chooses John Major to succeed Margaret Thatcher as leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • 1992-06-30 Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher joins the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven

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