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This Sceptred Isle

The Falklands Factor Election & Star Wars
In June 1983 Margaret Thatcher called a general election and on the back of the Falklands War, won a landslide victory. Nigel Lawson was made Chancellor and Sir Geoffrey Howe, Foreign Secretary. This formidable pair, would be indirectly responsible for the PM's downfall. On the other side of the House, Michael Foot stepped down and Neil Kinnock became leader of the Labour Party.

This was also the year that American cruise missiles arrived at Greenham Common and so began the 'peace-camp' outside the base perimeter.

In Washington, President Reagan announced his Strategic Defense Initiative - the idea for some futuristic missile defence system. It was quickly dubbed: Star Wars. It may have been a fantastic concept, with many critics, but by trying to match it, the Soviet Union only added to its debts and inevitable bankruptcy. The Royal Mint was feeling far from bankrupt and it was in 1983, that yet another coin appeared in Britain - the £1, which would replace the fragile £note.

David Niven
David Niven
David Niven (1910-1983)

  • David Niven was born in London - James David Graham Nevins.
  • In his late teens, he was destined for an army, not a thespian career and joined the Royal Military College Sandhurst as a Gentleman Cadet.
  • But although he looked the part, Niven did not want the real thing.
  • Soon he turned to acting and quickly to Hollywood.
  • He became friends with Hollywood's young set, which included Errol Flynn.
  • It wasn't long before Niven was spotted by the big studios and signed by Sam Goldwyn.
  • He returned to the army during World War II and to the screen once it was over.
  • His style made him the obvious casting director's choice as the raffish, but usually honourable English gentleman.
  • However, Niven should remembered as a fine actor as well as a box office heartthrob and in 1958 he won an Academy Award for Separate Tables.

did you know?
In 1983 early morning television begins with BBC's Breakfast Time followed a month later by ITV's breakfast television service TV-AM.

Pound Coin Introduced
The Times - April 1983 The engraving round the edge of the new one pound coin, "Decus et Tutamen" - an ornament and a safeguard, is intended to deter counterfeiters because it is difficult to reproduce.
The words are from the Aeneid, and were first used on British coins in the reign of Charles the Second.
Notwithstanding its gilded appearance the new coin, which became legal tender on Thursday, has no gold in it.
It is made of nickel brass (a mixture of copper, nickel and zinc).
Demand for the real thing however, continues strong.

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1978Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Poland elected Pope
1979Margaret Thatcher PM (Conservative)
Rhodesian settlement at Lancaster House
1980 Southern Rhodesia becomes Zimbabwe
1981Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer
Ronald Reagan President of the USA
1982Britain wins the Falklands War
1983Margaret Thatcher wins landslide victory
1984Indira Gandhi of India assassinated
1985 Mikhail Gorbachev succeeds Chernenko as Soviet leader
1986 Elizabeth II first British monarch to visit China
1987 Worst storm of the century rages over Great Britain
1988 George Bush wins US Presidential election

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