10th January : Margaret Thatcher Day in the Falkland Islands, which has been celebrated every year since 1992.
Born: October 13, 1925
Died: April 8, 2013
Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s first female prime minister and served three consecutive terms in office. She was one of the dominant political figures of 20th century Britain, and Thatcherism continues to have a huge influence.
The Falklands has been under British rule since 1795 when the Islands were claimed for Britain on the grounds of prior discovery. A British settlement was established in 1766. This remained until the Falkland Crisis of 1770-1771, when the French, who also claimed ownership of the Islands, gave them to Spain.
Ten years after settlement, in 1776, the British forces formally left the Falklands although leaving a plaque asserting Britain’s continuing sovereignty over the islands.
In 1811 the Spanish presence also left the islands, leaving them virtually deserted. In 1816 Argentina declared its independence from Spain, becoming a nation in its own right.
In 1823 a German was allowed to occupy the Islands and this lasted until 1831 when an American warship arrived and found that the settlers were suffering from famine, and were then evacuated to the mainland. This left the Islands unsettled again.
In December 1832, the United Kingdom again re-asserted its presence, and British sovereignty over the Islands.
The Falklands then became a British Crown Colony in 1841.
It was given British Overseas Territory status in 2002. However Argentina also claims it as theirs, and in 1992, the Argentinian ruling military junta invaded the Island group, resulting in Margaret Thatcher “Iron Lady”, the British Prime Minister at the time, sending a British task force to reclaim the islands in a two month battle.
The Islands are about 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometres) away from the British mainland.
They had a population of 2,932 in the 2012 census
On 18th December 2014, The British Prime Minister announced that the Falkland Islands are to erect a statue, in 2015, of former British premier Margaret Thatcher, who defended the territory against Argentina in 1982.
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