Margaret Thatcher, besides being Britain's first woman prime minister, was the first to win a third term since the 19th century.

In the 1987 elections, Thatcher's Conservative Party scored its second largest parliamentary majority since World War II.The last British prime minister to serve three consecutive terms was Robert Banks Jenkinson, the second earl of Liverpool, who first took office in 1812. He suffered a stroke in February 1827 after nearly 15 years in office and died the next year at 58.

Winston Churchill, the most famous British prime minister of the 20th century for his leadership in World War II, served two terms - 1940-45 and 1951-55. He died Jan. 24, 1965, when he was 90.

On Jan. 3, 1987, Thatcher, 65, became Britain's longest continuously serving prime minister this century, her eight years and 244 days in office surpassing the previous record of Lord Asquith from 1908 to 1916.