Falklands 40: Life in 1982

The way we remember things, especially history, resonates differently for all of us. Often you’ll connect a song, or a film, or something that happened in the news with a particular period of time.

Looking back at events in history, and reviewing the wider cultural events, can often deepen our insight into what life was like at the time.

Part of our role as a National Museum is to help explain and connect historic events to people’s everyday lives.

For example, the music of Dame Vera Lynn is inherently connected to the Second World War and evocative of that period of time.

For some of us, the Falklands is in our living memory, but as with all history there will be generations without direct associations or connections to the conflict.

With this in mind, we’ve taken key moments in the history of the Falklands conflict and related it to wider cultural events that happened around the time.

4 May 1979 - Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister and heralded in a new era of British politics. One of the first big challenges she faced was the Falklands which took place in the early 1980s.

29 July 1981 - His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales married Diana Spencer. Whether you remember this, are an avid follower of the Royal Family or have seen this represented in Netflix’s The Crown you’ll undoubtedly have heard of this historic royal event.

26 January 1982 - The unemployed population in the UK rises above three million, the first time since the 1930s.

30 March 1982: The Queen opens Barbican Centre in London, which took 15 years to build and revived the area which was destroyed by German bombers in the Second World War.

2 April 1982 – At the start of Spring, Argentina invaded the Falklands. This triggered the start of the conflict that lasted 74 days between British and Argentinian forces.

3 April 1982 - During the 136th Grand National, Dick Saunders becomes the oldest jockey to win the event, at 48, with a horse called Grittar.

Also on the 3 April, The United Nations Security Council demands that Argentina withdraw from the Falkland Islands.

18 April 1982 – Paul McCartney and Stevie wonder are top of the charts with Ebony and Ivory.

25 April 1982 – British helicopters engage Argentine submarine Santa Fe and drive it ashore on South Georgia in a damaged condition. Royal Marines and Special Forces land on South Georgia.

26 April 1982 - Argentinians in South Georgia surrender.

29 April 1982 – Daniel and Christopher Smith, Britain's first test tube twins, are born to Josephine and Stewart Smith at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

2 May 1982 – HMS Conqueror sinks General Belgrano approximately 35 miles south-west of exclusion zone. 323 Argentines died.

8 May 1982 - French-Canadian racing driver Gilles Villeneuve is killed during a crash qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.

21 May 1982 - 4,000 troops from the Parachute Regiments and Royal Marine Commandos land almost unopposed at San Carlos. During heavy air attacks on the naval task force 11 Argentine aircraft were shot down, HMS Ardent was damaged and later sinks. Further naval ships were damaged.

27 May 1982 - Tottenham Hotspur F.C. wins the FA Cup, beating Queens Park Rangers.

Troops from the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marine Commandos march from San Carlos Water. They covered 56 miles in three days carrying 80-pound loads.

28 May 1982 - The battle for Darwin and Goose Green. After a day-long battle, British forces defeated a larger Argentine force. Approximately 1,300 prisoners are captured. Key figure from the Parachute Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel ‘H’ Jones, commander of the Second Battalion Regiment, was killed.

Also, on this day, Pope John Paul II's began his visit to the United Kingdom.

30 May 1982 - Spain joins NATO and becomes the 16th member.

14 June 1982 - After negotiations and 74 days of conflict, Brigadier General Mario Menendez surrendered all Argentine forces in East and West Falklands. 11,400 prisoners were captured and repatriated.

Also on the 14 June, ‘Goody Two Shoes’ by Adam Ant was number one in the charts.

15 June 1982: After the defeat in the Falklands, riots take place in Argentina.

17 June 1982 – Fame, the hit musical drama, is broadcast on British television.

21 June 1982 – Prince William is born at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London.

7 July 1982 - Annie was released in UK cinemas, based on the 1977 Broadway musical of the same name and represented in a more recent film with Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz in 2014.

9 July 1982 - The Queen fends off intruder Mr Fagan at Buckingham Palace.

11 July 1982 – FIFA World Cup Final, Italy were victorious over West Germany.

11 October 1982 – The Mary Rose, a Tudor ship, was raised from the Solent.

30 November 1982 – Michael Jackson released global hit and music video ‘Thriller’.

9 December 1982 - Cult classic film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was released in cinemas across the UK.

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