British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with Norman Tebbit Conservative Party Chairman wave from Downing Street window after general election victory 1987. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1987 - British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher swept to a historic third straight term in office, capturing a decisive general election victory by what appeared an even bigger margin than expected. With most votes counted, Thatcher’s Conservative Party had 332 parliamentary seats, the left-wing Labour Party 219, the centrist Alliance 14 and others five. Labour Party campaign manager Bryan Gould said: “I think we have lost it, because we started from a very low base,” but said Labour made no mistakes in the hard-fought campaign. Thatcher re-captured her own parliamentary seat for the Finchley constituency, but when she spoke to thank officials at the local vote counting station, she was fiercely heckled by a small group.

Other important events

1895 - Charles A. Duryea is granted the first US patent for a gas-powered automobile.

1901 - New Zealand annexes the Cook Islands.

1903 - The unpopular King Alexander of Serbia and his wife are murdered in a palace coup.

1917 - Alexander I becomes King of Greece following his father Constantine I’s abdication.

1940 - Princess Juliana of the Netherlands arrives in Canada in exile during the Second World War.

1963 - Greek Premier Constantine Caramanlis resigns in protest of King Paul’s state visit to Britain.

1967 - UN brokers a ceasefire between Israel and Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

1970 - Palestinian fighters and King Hussain’s army sign a truce in Jordan after a week of heavy clashes.

1981 - Earthquake in southeast Iran kills at least 1,500 people.

1989 - American teenager Michael Chang rewrites the record books and produces one of the biggest sporting upsets in years when he wins the French Open title.

1992 - US President George H.W. Bush is forced to flee from gunfire and tear gas disrupting his visit to Panama.

2002 - The loya jirga elects Hamid Karzai as leader of the transitional government in Afghanistan to serve until elections are held in 2004.

2004 - The US bids a final farewell to former president Ronald Reagan in funeral rites.

2009 - The World Health Organisation declares the H1N1 flu a pandemic, the first pandemic since 1968 as it spreads across four continents.

2015 - Hollywood actor Sir Christopher Lee dies at the age of 93.

2016 - US Singer Christina Grimmie dies after being shot at a concert venue in Florida.