The Story of Liberty
Looking for a program? Search above

Receive weekly emails from The Story of Liberty
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 known as the "Iron Lady". She led Britain in the Falklands war. During her tenure she reshaped almost every aspect of British politics, reviving the economy, reforming outdated institutions, and reinvigorating the nation's foreign policy.

Timeline

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

1936: She went to Kesteven and Grantham's girl's school.

1944: She went to Oxford. She studied chemistry there. 

1946: She became the president of the Oxford University Conservative Association.

1947: She graduated from Oxford with a degree in Natural sciences.

1950: She completed her MA from Oxford. Margaret fought unsuccessfully as the Tory candidate for Dartford.

1951: She married a wealthy, divorced, businessman Denis Thatcher.

1953: She qualified as a lawyer. Margaret gave birth to twins Carol and Mark.

1954: She was rejected as candidate for Orpington.

1958: She was selected for Finchley in April 1958.

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

1966: She moved to the Shadow Treasury team.

1967: She was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Fuel spokesman.

1968: She voted to decriminalize male homosexuality and legalize abortion.

1970: Conservative Party leader Edward Heath became the Prime Minister of Britain. Margaret became Secretary of State for Education and Science.

1974: After the Conservative Party defeat, Heath appointed her as Shadow Environment Secretary.

1975: She defeated 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: She refused to reverse her economic policy despite rising unemployment and inflation.

1982: The British retook Falkland Islands from Argentina under Thatcher's leadership.

1983: The Conservative Party won elections. Margaret Thatcher was reelected Prime Minister.

1984: She narrowly escaped assassination by the IRA at Brighton.

1986: Her government controversially abolished the Greater London Council and six Metropolitan County Councils.

1987: She led her party to victory in the 1987 general election. She became the longest continuously serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since Lord Liverpool.

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

1989: She is challenged by Sir Anthony Meyer for the leadership of the Conservative Party. She introduced poll tax in Scotland and raised interest rates to curb inflation.

1990: She resigned from the post of Prime Minister following a challenge to her leadership. John Major succeeded her.

1992: She retired from the House of Commons.

2003: She is widowed by the death of Sir Denis Thatcher on 26 June, 2003.

2005: She celebrated her 80th birthday.

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

2008: She was 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.