THE IRON LADY
About Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher was the first female head of government in the West. She was
also the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th Century.
Margaret Roberts was born in the town of Grantham, the daughter of a grocer.
Accepted at Oxford University to study Chemistry. President of the Student
Works as a research chemist.
Stands for election to Parliament as Conservative candidate for the district of Dartford and loses the election.
Marries successful businessman, Denis Thatcher.
Qualifies as a barrister.
Gives birth to twins, Carol and Mark.
Stands for election to Parliament as Conservative candidate for the district of Finchley and wins, entering the House of Commons.
Appointed Secretary of State for Education and Science by Prime Minister Edward
Elected leader of the Conservative Party.
The Soviet Union dubs her "The Iron Lady" for her staunch opposition to
Leads the Conservative Party to victory in Britain's general election and
becomes the country's first female prime minister. Airey Neave, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and her close friend and
advisor, is killed by an Irish republican car bomb.
Pursues a policy of spending cuts, notwithstanding recession and high
Riots in the U.K.
Irish Republican Army members commence hunger strike in the Maze Prison in
protest of Thatcher's anti-IRA policies.
Trip to White House to meet U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Falkland Islands crisis leads to war with Argentina in April. The Falklands are
back under British control by June.
Wins a landslide in the general election for a second term as prime minister.
Survives assassination attempt when the Brighton Grand Hotel is bombed by Irish
Republican Army during the Conservative Party Conference.
Start of the year-long miners' strike against coal pit closures, ending with the
defeat of the Miners' Union.
Wins unprecedented third term as prime minister.
Fall of the Berlin Wall.
Her introduction of the "Poll Tax" (a flat-rate per capita tax to fund local
services) leads to civil unrest.
Opposition to closer integration with Europe causes divisions within the
Geoffrey Howe, a former key ally, resigns and precipitates a challenge to her
leadership of the Conservative Party.
Resigns as prime minister and leaves 10 Downing Street.
After a series of minor strokes, announces an end to her public speaking
Death of Denis Thatcher.
Thatcher is now 86 years old.
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