Here are some important dates in the life and career of Margaret Thatcher:

Oct. 13, 1925 - Born Margaret Hilda Roberts at Grantham in central England, the second daughter of grocer Alfred Roberts.June, 1947 - Graduates from Oxford with a chemistry degree.

Dec. 13, 1951 - Marries Denis Thatcher, a wealthy oil executive.

Aug. 15, 1953 - Gives birth to twins, Mark and Carol.

June 1, 1954 - Qualifies as a lawyer.

Oct. 8, 1959 - Elected to Parliament.

June 20, 1970 - Appointed Education Secretary.

Feb. 11, 1975 - Elected leader of the Conservative Party, then in opposition.

May 4, 1979 - Conservative Party wins, Thatcher becomes prime minister.

May 15, 1980 - Inflation hits a record 21.9 percent.

April 2, 1982 - Dispatches a naval task force to recover the Falkland Islands from Argentina in a 74-day war.

June 3, 1983 - Wins second five-year term.

Oct. 12, 1984 - Survives unhurt in an Irish Republican Army assassination attempt that kills 5 people and injures 32.

April 15, 1986 - Allows the United States to use British bases for bombing of Libya.

June 11, 1987 - Wins third five-year term.

Jan. 3, 1988 - Becomes Britain's longest continuously serving prime minister this century.

May 4, 1989 - Completes a decade in power.