Britain Under Margaret Thatcher - Timeline

Alanna Pearson
Note by , created about 5 years ago

Timeline of Thatcher and Thatcherism from 1970-1990

Alanna Pearson
Created by Alanna Pearson about 5 years ago
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1970-1975 - Thatcher under Heath18th June 1970 - Conservatives win the general election with Edward Heath as leader. Thatcher becomes Secretary of State for Education and Science.September 1970 - In response to funding cuts, Thatcher chooses to abolish universal free milk in schools (though it remains for children under 7). Thatcher is subsequently attacked by the media as 'Milk Snatcher'.February 1971 - Rolls Royce goes bankrupt, and is nationalised by the British government due to its importance to the country's economy.9th January 1972 - Miners' strike begins after wage negotiations break down. Heath eventually concedes to their demands. (NUM)  30th January 1972 - 'Bloody Sunday'. Civil rights protestors in Londonderry are shot by the British Army.13th December 1973 - Three day week announced in order to conserve electricity.10th February 1974 - Miners' strike begins.28th February 1974 - General election. No party wins with overall majority.2nd March 1974 - Heath offers coalition with Liberals, but is rejected. 4th March 1974 - Heath resigns as Prime Minister. Harold Wilson takes over with Labour government.11th March 1974 - Thatcher becomes Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment4th February 1975 - Thatcher defeats Heath in first ballot for conservative leadership. Heath resigns.11th February 1975 - Thatcher wins second ballot, succeeding Heath as  Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition.1975-1979 - Leader of the Opposition16th March 1976 - Harold Wilson announces his resignation as Prime Minister.5th April 1976 - James Callaghan is elected leader of the Labour Party, and succeeds Wilson as Prime Minister.7th September 1978 - Callaghan announces no autumn general election.Winter 1978/1979 - 'Winter of Discontent'. Labour government in difficulties.28th March 1979 - The Labour government is defeated in a confidence motion.29th March 1979 - General election announced for 3rd May.30th March 1979 - Airey Neave is assassinated by the Irish National Liberation Army.3rd May 1979 - General election. Conservatives win 43 majority. Thatcher becomes Prime MInister.1979-1983 - First Term as Prime Minister25th December 1979 - USSR invade Afghanistan. Relations between USSR and the West continue to deteriorate.3rd October 1980 - The Housing Act 1980 comes into force, giving council tenants the right to buy their houses from the local authority.27th October 1980 - First hunger strike by Irish Republican prisoners, lasting 53 days.1st March 1981 - Second hunger strike by Irish Republican prisoners, and was called off on the 3rd October 1981, after 10 prisoners died of starvation.26th March 1981 - Social Democratic Party (SDP) formed.April-July 1981 - Riots erupt across England, percieved as being incited by racial tension, and a distrust of the police and authority.29th July 1981 - Wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer.2nd April 1982 - Argentina invade the Falklands5th April 1982 - First naval units leave Portsmouth2nd May 1982 - The Argentine cruiser, General Belgrano, is sunk by the British HMS Conqueror. 21st May 1982 - British forces land at San Carlos Bay14th June 1982 - Port Stanley is captured. Argentines surrender9th June 1983 - General election. Conservative majority of 144.1983-1987 - Second Term as Prime Minister25th September 1983 - Maze Prison Escape. 38 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners escape from the maximum security prison HM Prison Maze.25th October 1983 - US invade Grenada.17th December 1983 - A time bomb planted by members of the IRA goes off outside Harrods, killing three police officers, three civilians, and injuring many others.8th March 1984 - Miner's strike begins.10th July 1984 - National dock strike begins, lasting 10 days.24th August 1984 - Second national dock strike begins, lasting 25 days.12 October 1984 - An IRA bomb, intended for Thatcher and her cabinet, goes off at the Grand Hotel during a Conservative Party conference. Five are killed, thirty injured, but Thatcher is unharmed.25th October 1984 - High Court orders total sequestration of NUM's funds.6th November 1984 - President Reagan re-elected.19th December 1984 - Thatcher signs Hong Kong agreement, transferring sovereignty back to China as of 1st July 1997.5th March 1985 - Miners return to work15th November 1985 - Thatcher signs Anglo-Irish Agreement, giving the  government an advisory role in the governing of Northern Ireland.6th March 1987 - Zeebrugge Ferry disaster. The British ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes upon leaving the Belgian dock of Zeebrugge, killing 193 passengers and crew. Thatcher subsequently visits Zeebrugge, where she pays tribute to the Belgian emergency services.11th June 1987 - General election. Conservative majority of 102.1987-1990 - Third and Final Term as Prime Minister19th October 1987 - 'Black Monday'. Stock markets crash.8th November 1987 - An IRA bomb explodes in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland during a Remembrance Sunday ceremony. 11 are killed, 63 injured.8th December 1987 - INF Treaty is signed in Washington, promising to remove nuclear missiles from Europe within three years.15th March 1988 - 1988 budget is released. The standard rate of income tax is cut to 25%, the top rate to 40%.20th September 1988 - Bruges speech on Britain and Europe.8th November 1988 - George Bush elected as President17th November 1988 - Thatcher visits Washington for farewell to Reagan and talks with President Bush.21st December 1988 - Lockerbie bombing. A Pan Am transatlantic flight is destroyed by a terrorist bomb, killing all passengers and crew, plus 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie.31st January 1989  - Publication of NHS White Paper.1st April 1989 - The unpopular poll tax, or community charge, is implemented in scotland ahead of the rest of the UK.26th October 1989 - Nigel Lawson resigns, is replaced by John Major as Chancellor.9th November 1989 - East Germany announce the opening of its border with West Germany. Demolition of the Berlin Wall begins the next day.5th December 1989 - Thatcher defeats Sir Anthony Meyer in leadership election.11th February 1990 - Nelson Mandela released from prison, following South African President's announced unbanning of ANC on 2nd February.31st March 1990 - Riot against the poll tax in Trafalgar Square, shortly before the tax was due to be implemented.14th July 1990 - Nick Ridley resigns as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry30th July 1990 - MP Ian Gow is murdered by the IRA3rd October 1990 - German reunification1st November 1990 - Geoffrey Howe resigns as Deputy Prime Minister, widely considered to have precipitated Thatcher's own downfall three weeks later.20th November 1990 - Conservative leadership first ballot. Michael Heseltine challenges Thatcher for conservative leadership, gaining enough votes to deny her an outright win in the first ballot.22nd November 1990 - Thatcher announces decision not to contest second ballot, gives final speech to the Commons as Prime Minister.28th November 1990 - Margaret Thatcher resigns as Prime Minister after 11 years, and is replaced by John Major, who defeated Heseltine in the second ballot.