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1979: Thatcher Becomes First Female Prime Minister

Margaret Thatcher became the U.K.'s first female prime minister on May 4, 1979, with a tiny majority of 43 seats. In her opening speech outside Downing Street she famously quoted Saint Francis of Assisi: "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope."

Tim Graham | Getty Images Europe