Related topics

Milestones in the life of Margaret Thatcher

April 8, 2013 GMT

LONDON (AP) — Milestones in the life and career of Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher:

Oct. 13, 1925: Born in Grantham, central England.

June 1947: Graduates from Oxford with chemistry degree.

Dec. 13, 1951: Marries wealthy oil executive Denis Thatcher.

Aug. 15, 1953: Gives birth to twins, Mark and Carol.

June 1, 1954: Qualifies as lawyer.

Oct. 8, 1959: Elected to Parliament.

June 20, 1970: Becomes education secretary.

Feb. 11, 1975: Elected leader of Conservative Party.

May 3, 1979: Wins national elections, becomes Europe’s first female prime minister.


March 1, 1981: Refuses to concede demands of Irish Republican Army convicts for prisoner-of-war status in Northern Ireland, inspiring a hunger strike. Ten inmates starve to death over following seven months.

Sept. 14, 1981: Dumps or reassigns most of her moderate ministers in Cabinet reshuffle.

April 2, 1982: Argentina invades Falkland Islands, a British territory in the South Atlantic. Thatcher sends a naval task force that recovers the islands after a 74-day war.

June 9, 1983: Wins second term.

Oct. 12, 1984: Survives IRA assassination bid after time bomb explodes near her room in hotel hosting Conservative Party conference. Five others killed, 32 wounded.

Dec. 15, 1984: Becomes first Western leader to meet Mikhail Gorbachev as he visits London prior to becoming Soviet Union’s leader.

Dec. 19, 1984: Signs accord with Chinese Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang to cede the British colony of Hong Kong to China in 1997.

Nov. 15, 1985: Signs Anglo Irish Agreement that gives the Republic of Ireland a role in Northern Ireland for the first time. Move infuriates province’s Protestant majority.

Jan. 9, 1986: Defense Secretary Michael Heseltine resigns in dispute over moves to rescue the failing Westland helicopter company. Triggers a Cabinet crisis that pushes Thatcher close to resignation.

April 15, 1986: Allows U.S. to bomb Libya with aircraft based in Britain.

Aug. 1, 1986: Cabinet unanimously supports her resistance to sanctions against South Africa.

March 28, 1987: Travels to Moscow for talks with Gorbachev, strengthens role as key player in arms control negotiations.

June 11, 1987: Wins third term.

Jan. 3, 1988: Becomes Britain’s longest continuously serving prime minister of 20th century.

Nov. 22, 1990: Announces resignation after party revolt.


Nov. 28, 1990: Succeeded by John Major as prime minister.

June 26, 1992: Becomes Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, a member of the unelected House of Lords with a lifetime title.

March 22, 2002: Ends public speaking after a series of strokes.

June 26, 2003: Her husband dies.

April 8, 2013: Dies of stroke.