Margaret Thatcher Day
Margaret Thatcher Day is a holiday observed on January 10th each year in the Falkland Islands. It commemorates the day on January 10, 1983, when UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made her first visit to the Falkland Islands, six months after Argentina was defeated in the war between them and the United Kingdom over the ownership of the islands.
This holiday was established in 1992 in honor of this memorable visit and has been celebrated for the past 30+ years.
The History of Margaret Thatcher Day
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean. This archipelago has been contested since the 19th century. Both Great Britain and Argentina have claimed ownership of this island chain. When Argentina declared its independence in 1816, it also claimed the Falklands.
Great Britain ignored this claim, however, and established sovereignty over the islands in 1833. Great Britain would turn the islands into a military outpost, marking the beginning of the dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina over control of the islands.
In 1981, General Leopoldo Galtieri became Argentina’s president after a military coup. To boost his low popularity ratings, he decided to invade the Falklands. Argentine forces landed on the Falkland Islands on April 2, 1982. Argentine forces engaged a small garrison of the Royal Marines, and after a brief conflict, the marines surrendered.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher held an emergency meeting, and it was decided that a task force should be sent to the Falklands to retake the islands. On June 14, 1982, Argentine forces surrendered, and the war ended with Great Britain claiming victory. On January 10, 1983, PM Thatcher visited the island. This day has been immortalized by the Falklands since 1992 when they established this holiday in honor of that visit.
Observing Margaret Thatcher Day
Margaret Thatcher Day is celebrated by people taking the time to learn more about the conflict between Argentina and the UK and about PM Thatcher’s memorable visit. It is also observed by using the hashtag #MargaretThatcherDay on social media on this day.