December 9, 1999
Lady Margaret Thatcher was appointed Great Britain's first female Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service on May 4, 1979. When the Conservative Party subsequently won the general elections in 1983 and 1987, Lady Thatcher became the first British Prime Minister to contest successfully three consecutive elections. She resigned on November 28, 1990, and the following month Her Majesty the Queen awarded Lady Thatcher the Order of Merit.
Chancellor at Buckingham University, England, and The College of William and Mary, Lady Thatcher is the author of several books, including The Downing Street Years (1993), The Path to Power (1995) and Margaret Thatcher-The Collected Speeches (1998). Lady Thatcher met with a class of Hamilton College students prior to her public lecture. When asked what advice she gives Tony Blair, the current prime minister, she said, "I do not advise him, I criticize him. That's my job." (Syracuse Newspapers)
In her public lecture Lady Thatcher gave an overview of the state of global politics in the 1980s and highlighted challenges we will face in the 21st century. She discussed the European Union and defended her support of former Chilean president, General Augusto Pinochet. Approximately 4,400 people attended the lecture, which was followed by a question and answer period. Lady Thatcher, a chemist and lawyer by training, answered questions, including one from a chemistry student who asked about engineered food.