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Timeline of Margaret Thatcher

Prabhakar Pillai Mar 21, 2020
Margaret Thatcher was a significant political figure of the 20th century. This timeline takes you through the major events of her life.
Margaret Thatcher was one of the most important political figures of the 20th Century. She was a British politician. Daughter of a grocer, she went on to become the leader of the conservative party from 1975 to 1990. She was the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and served from 1979 to 1990. She was also known as the "Iron Lady". She led Britain in the Falklands war, and during her tenure she reshaped almost every aspect of British politics, reviving the economy, reforming outdated institutions, and reinvigorating the nation's foreign policy.


1925: Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on 13 October 1925 to Beatrice Stephenson Roberts and Alfred Roberts in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

1936: Attends Kesteven and Grantham Girls School.

1944: Attends Oxford and studied chemistry there. 

1946: Becomes the president of the Oxford University Conservative Association.
1947: Graduates from Oxford with a degree in Natural Sciences.

1950: Completes her MA from Oxford, and fought unsuccessfully as the Tory candidate for Dartford.

1951: Marries a wealthy, divorced, businessman Denis Thatcher.

1953: Qualifies as a lawyer, and gave birth to twins Carol and Mark.
1954: Is rejected as candidate for Orpington.

1958: She is selected for Finchley in April 1958.

1961: Votes against the Conservative Party's official position for the restoration of birching (corporal punishment).

1966: Moves to the Shadow Treasury team.
1967: Promoted to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Fuel Spokesperson.

1968: Votes to decriminalize male homosexuality and legalize abortion.
1970: Conservative Party leader Edward Heath becomes the Prime Minister of Britain. Margaret becomes Secretary of State for Education and Science.

1974: After the Conservative Party defeat, Heath appoints her as Shadow Environment Secretary.
1975: Defeats Heath's successor William Whitelaw and became the leader of the Conservative Party.

1976: She made a speech attacking the Soviet Union. She was dubbed as the "Iron Lady" by the soviet press.

1979: She is elected as Britain's Prime Minister.

1980: Refuses to reverse her economic policy despite rising unemployment and inflation.
1982: The British retakes Falkland Islands from Argentina under Thatcher's leadership.

1983: The Conservative Party wins elections. Margaret Thatcher is re-elected Prime Minister.
1984: Narrowly escapes assassination by the IRA at Brighton.

1986: Her government controversially abolishes the Greater London Council and six Metropolitan County Councils.
1987:Leads her party to victory in the 1987 general election, and becomes the longest continuously serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since Lord Liverpool.

1988: Makes a major speech addressing the issues of acid rain, ozone depletion, and global warming.

1992: Retires from the House of Commons.
2003: She is widowed by the death of Sir Denis Thatcher on 26 June, 2003.

2005: Celebrates her 80th birthday.

2007: A film on Margaret's life is proposed.

2008: She is presented with a "Lifetime Achievement Award".
These were some important times of her life. Becoming the first woman to become the Prime Minister of Britain, and by doing a good job while she was at it, she proved to critics that women too can lead a country successfully.
1989: She is challenged by Sir Anthony Meyer for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Introduces poll tax in Scotland and raises interest rates to curb inflation.

1990: Resigns from the post of Prime Minister following a challenge to her leadership. John Major succeeds her.