Margaret Thatcher Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1925 – 2013 *** Full Name: Margaret Thatcher was also known as The Iron Lady *** Date of Birth (Birthday): Margaret Thatcher was born on October 13, 1925 *** Place of Birth: Margaret Thatcher was born in Granthan, Lincolnshire *** Family background: Her father was Alfred Roberts *** Early life and childhood: Margaret Thatcher grew up and spent the majority of her childhood in Granthan, Lincolnshire *** Education: Margaret Thatcher began her university education at Oxford in 1943 *** Margaret Thatcher died on April 8, 2013.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 1: Margaret Thatcher was born on October 13, 1925 in Granthan, Lincolnshire. Her full name was Margaret Hilda Roberts.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 2: Margaret Thatcher was the daughter of Alfred Roberts and Beatrice Ethel. Her father owned two grocery stores, he attended the Methodist church and was active in politics in the local area. In 1945, he became the Mayor of Grantham, a position which he held until the following year in 1946.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 3: She was raised in Granthan, Lincolnshire and lived with her family in a flat above one of her father's grocery stores. She had an older sister called Muriel. She had a religious upbringing, she attended the Finkin Street Methodist Church and was raised a strict Wesleyan Methodist.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 4: Margaret Thatcher began her education at Huntingtower Road Primary School. She was a good student and worked very hard. After winning a scholarship, she moved to Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School. She enjoyed playing sports including hockey, swimming and walking. She also played piano.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 5: She studied Chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, a constituent college of the University of Oxford, from 1943-1947. She graduated with Second-Class Honours in the four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 6: During her Oxford University days, Margaret Thatcher showed a keen interest in law and politics. In 1946, she took to the position of President of the Oxford University Conservative Association. The political works of various people influenced her greatly, particularly the works of Friedrich von Hayek's, an economist and philosopher born in Austria who wrote a book called 'The Road to Serfdom'.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 7: Margaret Thatcher started working for BX Plastics as a research chemist after graduation from Oxford University. In 1948, as a representative of the University Graduate Conservative Association, she joined the local Conservative Association. Margaret Thatcher became the first female and the youngest Conservative candidate for Darford following her selection in January 1951.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 8: Margaret Thatcher met her future husband, Denis Thatcher, in February 1951 at a dinner she attended after becoming a Conservative candidate for Dartford. He was a rich businessman and divorcee. The couple married later the same year in December 1951. At this time, she worked in Hammersmith for J. Lyons and Co. as a research chemist.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 9: Denis Thatcher was a supportive husband, he helped her financially with her studies for the bar. In 1953, Margaret Thatcher became a qualified barrister, specializing in taxation. During the same year, Margaret Thatcher had two children, twins named Carol and Mark.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 10: Towards the end of the 1970s, Margaret Thatcher quoted, 'There will not be a woman prime minister in my lifetime—the male population is too prejudiced,'.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 11: Margaret Thatcher became the youngest female in history to become a front bencher, in Harold Macmillan's administration, as Parliamentary Undersecretary at the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance. She became a spokeswomen for the Conservative Party and argued and opposed many things including high-tax policies and hare coursing.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 12: In 1970, she became the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Education and Science. She became labelled as 'Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher' because she abolished free milk from schools for children aged 7 to 11. She learnt an important lesson from her decision to remove milk as the public were far from impressed at this public expenditure cuts she’d imposed. The following quote by Margaret Thatcher reflects upon her decision, 'I learned a valuable lesson [from the experience]. I had incurred the maximum of political odium for the minimum of political benefit.'.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 13: In 1975, Margaret Thatcher became party leader and Leader of the Opposition. This position is often seen as an alternative Prime Minister. The following quote is taken from a speech made by Margaret Thatcher on January 19, 1976 during which she compared the people of Great Britain to the Russians, 'The Russians are bent on world dominance, and they are rapidly acquiring the means to become the most powerful imperial nation the world has seen. The men in the Soviet Politburo do not have to worry about the ebb and flow of public opinion. They put guns before butter, while we put just about everything before guns.'
Margaret Thatcher Fact 14: Margaret Thatcher was nicknamed the 'Iron Lady' by the Soviet Defence Ministry newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda in response to the speech she made in Kensington Town Hall in 1976. The nickname stuck with her for the rest of her days.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 15: She became the first and only female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on May 4th 1979. Margaret Thatcher was also the first Prime Minister with a science degree, an achievement which made her feel very proud.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 16: There was a great deal of speculation over the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and the Queen. Many said that their relationship was tense and there were many domestic and international issues. However, both Buckingham Palace and Downing Street denied the claims. Margaret Thatcher later quoted, 'I always found the Queen's attitude towards the work of the Government absolutely correct ... stories of clashes between 'two powerful women' were just too good not to make up.'
Margaret Thatcher Fact 17: During her first term as the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, she faced huge decisions following the invasion of the Falkland islands by Argentina. She reacted swiftly, sending British troops across to the Falklands in April 1982. The Falklands War began and resulted in the surrender of Argentina in 1982.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 18: At the end of the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher introduced a community charge called the poll tax. The tax made her unpopular with many of the British public and led to poll tax riots and demonstrations in Britain. Her successor, John Major, abolished the tax.
Margaret Thatcher Fact 19: She resigned from her position as the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom on November 28, 1990, leaving number 10, Downing Street. She made the following statement, 'Having consulted widely among colleagues, I have concluded that the unity of the Party and the prospects of victory in a General Election would be better served if I stood down to enable Cabinet colleagues to enter the ballot for the leadership. I should like to thank all those in Cabinet and outside who have given me such dedicated support.'
Margaret Thatcher Fact 20: Margaret Thatcher died on April 8, 2013 following a stroke. She was 87 years of age at the time of death. As per her wish, she was given a ceremonial funeral with military honours and a service at St Paul's Cathedral in London, England. Her ashes were placed next to her husband's at the All Saints Chapel of the Royal Hospital Chelsea's grounds.
Influence and Legacy: Margaret Thatcher was a very important figure in the history of Great Britain as she was the first and only female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. She took over the position at a time when Great Britain was struggling from a harsh recession. Margaret Thatcher had many challenges and tough decisions to make and deserved the Iron Lady nickname.
Short Facts about Margaret Thatcher for Kids
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