UPDATE: Margaret Thatcher dead: 5 things we’ll remember, 5 things you ought to know

Ex UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had a close personal relationship with former President Ronald Reagan.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died this morning aged 87.

She had been ill for some time, but died following a stroke, according to a spokesman.

Thatcher was Britain’s first and only female prime minister and served in that capacity for 11 years.

She was dubbed The Iron Lady by diplomats in Russia and Europe over her tough, uncompromising stance in negotiations over the European Union and arms control in the Cold War.

She was also a staunch ally of the United States and had a close personal relationship with former President Ronald Reagan.

At home she was a divisive figure. Her tenure saw the U.K. develop from one of the economic “sick men of Europe” into a powerhouse of the European Union. She destroyed once-powerful unions, but her time in office also saw record unemployment in former industrial areas. 

She came to office in 1979 and by 1982 was riding at historic lows in polls due to the tough economic measures she delivered to transform Britain.

The turning point in her fortunes came in May 1982 when Argentinian military forces invaded the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.

Many observers, including the Argentinian forces and American diplomats, forecast that Britain would do nothing. Instead, Thatcher ordered Britain’s military to send a task force to retake the islands. The task force set sail within three days of being ordered to do so and within weeks had pulled off  a stunning military victory to eject Argentina from the Falklands.

The wave of patriotic fervor that followed fueled a general election victory in 1983.

Michael Howard, a successor of Thatcher as leader of the center-right Conservative Party said she “was a titan of British politics. I believe she saved our country.”

Five things we’ll remember about Thatcher

Britain’s First Female Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher, when elected in 1979, became Britain’s first and so far only female prime minister and the West’s first female head of government. Her political dominance and leadership helped power on for three consecutive terms in office, and inspired countless women worldwide to break the glass ceiling of male-dominated politics.

Maggie clad in iron
She wasn’t called Iron Lady for nothing. Shaped by a hard-line political and economic stance, Thatcher shut down national coal mines, slashed social spending, refused to recognize Northern Irish political prisoners and introduced a widely unpopular poll tax.

The Queen of the 1980s
With her fondness for the private sector, deregulation and big missiles, Maggie embodied the zeitgeist of the 1980s – bellicose, ultra-aggressive capitalism – and she was loved for it. The 1982 Falklands War boosted her popularity, while herself and US President Ronald Reagan looked quite the (super) power couple in the era’s anti-communist chic.

No sleep, no problem
Tireless Thatcher famously said while in power she could get by on just four hours a night. She joins the genetically blessed Sleepless Elite, a band of top historical figures and leaders (Napoleon, Da Vinci, Churchill and Florence Nightingale) that needed five hours or less of shut-eye.

‘Power dressing’ personified
Her sense of style was as powerful as her politics. Sporting a helmet of deep strawberry hair, broad Royal blue skirt suits, and the briefcase-esque handbag, Thatcher pioneered the bold “I’m shoulder to shoulder with men” look. Her taste for proud Britishness was reflected in her choice of classic heritage labels Asprey and Aquascutum.

Credit: Anthony Johnston, Metro World News in London

 

… And 5 facts you ought to know about Thatcher

Keen chemist: Before becoming an MP, Thatcher worked as a research chemist for British chemical companies Xylonite and Lyons & Company, where she helped develop methods for preserving ice cream.

Infamous monikers: Worldwide people know the Iron Lady, but lesser-known nicknames include The Milk Snatcher (after she removed free school milk for over-7s), Attila the Hen, The She-Elephant and Brigitte Bardot with Caligula’s eyes (thank French president Francois Mitterand for that one.)

Lowering the tone: King George VI (from movie “The King’s Speech”) wasn’t the only British ruler to get voice therapy. Thatcher had her voice changed to sound more authoritative. After intensive training with a National Theatre tutor, Thatcher’s voice was lowered by 46 hertz and has became a cross between a typical male and female voice.

A perfect wife: Despite being Britain’s prime minister for 11 and a half years, Thatcher insisted on cooking for her husband every night and never had a personal chef while in office.

Troublesome children: Her son Mark received a four-year suspended jail sentence after funding mercenaries in a 2004 coup d’état attempt in Equatorial Guinea (British backers were allegedly keen on tapping into that country’s oil and gas reserves.) Mark’s twin sister Carol made some headlines when she won a British celeb reality show in 2005 but made many more in 2009 after uttering an off-air racist comment about Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…