On this day: Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first female PM

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Picture: Getty Images
Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Picture: Getty Images
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries on 4 May

1328: Treaty of Northampton ratified. In part, it said: “…if we or our predecessors in past times have sought in any way any rights to the kingdom of Scotland, we renounce and abandon them by these presents to the King of Scots, his heirs and successors.”

1494: The West Indian island of Jamaica was discovered by Columbus.

1654: Proclamations at the Mercat Cross, Edinburgh, of the Protectorate and Union with England by General George Monck.

1655: British fleet left San Domingo, West Indies, and later captured Jamaica.

1780: The first Derby was run at Epsom. Lord Derby and Sir Charles Bunbury tossed a coin to determine the name of the race – had the latter won, it would have been called “The Bunbury”. The winner was 6-4 favourite Diomed.

1843: Natal in South Africa was proclaimed British colony.

1896: The Daily Mail, founded by Lord Northcliffe, was first published.

1904: Construction started on Panama Canal.

1911: First plans for a national insurance scheme were unveiled by Chancellor David Lloyd George in his budget speech.

1926: The General Strike began at midnight, the first in British history. It was called off on 13 May.

1935: Leicester Square tube station opened, with the world’s longest escalator.

1942: Battle of the Coral Sea began.

1949: Thirteen women and girls died in a fire which destroyed Grafton’s four-storey gown store in Argyle Street, Glasgow.

1961: Anthony Wedgwood Benn won by-election in Bristol South East caused by his elevation to the peerage as Viscount Stansgate. He was barred from the Commons but later succeeded in renouncing his peerage.

1974: Abba reached the top of the pop charts with Waterloo, the Eurovision song contest winner.

1976: Waltzing Matilda was adopted as the Australian national anthem, but was replaced by Australia Fair in 1986.

1979: Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first woman prime minister.

1982: HMS Sheffield was hit by an Exocet missile and destroyed during the Falklands conflict, with the loss of 20 men.

1989: Tens of thousands of Chinese students marched to Tiananmen Square, in Peking, calling for freedom and democracy.

1990: Five hospitals were earmarked for closure in Lothian Health Board cuts.

1992: Stephen Hendry was crowned world snooker champion after beating Jimmy White 18-14 in the final.

1994: Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation signed a landmark accord giving Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip self-rule.

2001: The Bank of Scotland and Halifax merged as HBOS in a £28million deal, putting it in the top five UK banking groups.

2007: The SNP won the Scottish election and became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament for the first time ever.