Argentina invades the Falkland Islands, April 2nd, 1982
Argentine troops take over a collection of mountainous, windswept islands that Britain has controlled for nearly 150 years, despite Argentina’s assertion that the islands are its territory. In desperation, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reaches out to President Reagan for military assistance. Reagan refuses, seeing the islands as a vestige of Britain’s colonial past. Thatcher resolves that Britain must go it alone, and dispatches armed forces to retake the islands. Although Reagan repeatedly advises her to negotiate, Thatcher perseveres in military action. After ten weeks, Argentina surrenders. Margaret Thatcher has emerged as a global force.