LONDON: Here is a chronology of the life of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female prime minister, who died on Monday aged 87:
— October 13, 1925: Margaret Hilda Roberts is born in Grantham, eastern England. — October 1943: Begins chemistry degree at Oxford University.
— December 13, 1951: Marries businessman Denis Thatcher. — August 15, 1953: Birth of twin children Carol and Mark.
— October 8, 1959: Harold Macmillan’s Conservative Party comes to power. Thatcher elected Conservative member of parliament for Finchley, north London.
— October 15, 1964: Re-elected despite Labour Party victory; becomes in turn opposition spokeswoman on pensions, then housing, treasury (deputy to finance spokesman), energy, transport and education.
— June 19, 1970: Conservatives regain power; Thatcher appointed education and science secretary. — February 11, 1975: Thatcher elected Conservative leader after party enters opposition.
— June 5, 1975: 67.2 percent of Britons vote in favour of remaining in European Community; Thatcher campaigned for “yes” camp.
— May 3, 1979: Conservatives win election landslide after financial, social problems of Labour government; Thatcher becomes Britain’s first female prime minister.
— April 2, 1982: Argentina’s military junta invades Falkland Islands; a furious Thatcher sends troops and ships to recapture them. — June 14, 1982: Argentina surrenders; Thatcher’s popularity soars.
— June 9, 1983: Thatcher leads Conservatives to re-election. — March 12, 1984: Coal miners’ strike begins in northern England; drags on for a year before miners accept sweeping pit closures. — June 25-26, 1984: Britain wins rebate on its European Community budget contributions.
— October 12, 1984: Irish Republican Army bombs Thatcher’s hotel at Conservative annual conference in Brighton, southern England; she escapes injury but five others are killed.
— November 20, 1984: State-owned British Telecom is privatised. — December 16, 1984: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meets Thatcher; afterwards she calls him as a man she “can do business with”. — December 19, 1984: Thatcher signs joint declaration to return Hong Kong to China in July 1997.
— June 11, 1987: Thatcher leads Conservatives to third straight term in office. — March 31, 1990: Riots in central London lead to demise of much-despised local community charge on property or “poll tax”. — August 9, 1990: Thatcher commits Britain to US-led war with Iraq after dictator Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait.
— November 28, 1990: Resigns after revolt amongst Conservatives over Europe policy. — June 30, 1992: Takes her place in the upper House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.
— February 5, 1994: Becomes chancellor of College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, the oldest university in the United States after Harvard. — May 1997: Endorses young protege William Hague as he becomes new Conservative leader.
— March 26, 1999: Pays controversial visit to former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet, held under house arrest outside London as he faced extradition to Spain on human rights charges.
— March 22, 2002: Doctors, worried by a string of small strokes, order Thatcher to cease public speaking on health grounds. — June 26, 2003: Husband Denis Thatcher dies.
— June 11, 2004: Attends funeral in Washington for former US president and ideological soulmate Ronald Reagan, who she hails in a video-taped eulogy as a great American who “won the Cold War”.—AFP