Margaret Thatcher Day in the Falkland Islands Date in the current year: January 10, 2024

Margaret Thatcher Day in the Falkland Islands The Falkland Islands is an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean. Although it is a British overseas territory, Argentine has maintained a claim to the islands since the early 19th century. The two countries even fought a war over the Falklands in 1982. In the Falkland Islands, there are two holidays commemorating the war: Liberation Day (June 14) and Margaret Thatcher Day (January 10).

The British, the French and the Spanish all claim the right to be considered the discoverers of the Falkland Islands. The first settlements on the Falklands were founded by the British and by the French, but France quickly surrendered its claim on the islands to Spain. Britain and Spain maintained their respective claims throughout the 18th century, but both withdrew from the archipelago in the late 18th and early 19th century.

Following the independence of Argentina in 1816, the country claimed the Falklands. However, this didn’t prevent Britain from establishing sovereignty over the archipelago in 1833. Instead of developing the Falklands as a colony, the British turned the islands into a military outpost. This was the beginning of the sovereignty dispute between the UK and Argentina.

After the end of World War II and the creation of the United Nations, Argentina saw an opportunity to reclaim its right to the Falkland Islands, but negotiations between the UK and Argentina led to nothing. Meanwhile the islanders, most of whom were of British descent, didn’t want to join Argentina and were determined to remain British.

In 1981, General Leopoldo Galtieri became President of Argentina as a result of a military coup. Since his popularity was low, he decided to invade the Falklands, hoping that it would make him a more popular leader. Argentine forces landed on the Falkland Islands on April 2, 1982. Following a short engagement, a small garrison of the Royal Marines stationed at the archipelago surrendered.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher held a crisis meeting, where it was decided to send a task force to the Falklands. To oversee the campaign, the British government set up a war cabinet. The retaking of the islands was a difficult task, but the British succeeded. On June 14, 1982, Argentine troops surrendered, and the Falklands War ended with a British victory.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher paid her first visit to the Falkland Islands on January 10, 1983, half a year after Argentina’s defeat in the war. To commemorate this visit and recognize Thatcher’s contribution to the victory in the Falklands War, January 10 has been celebrated in the Falklands Islands as Margaret Thatcher Day since 1992.

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