Public Information Films
 
 
Introduction | About this period | Timeline | Film index
 
 
 
  

Timeline of events


1980

April 1

British authority in Rhodesia ends and the former colony becomes the independent republic of Zimbabwe



May 5

The government announces plans for a fleet of five Trident submarines



July 22

Unemployment stands at 1,896,634: the highest since 1936



August 8

Housing Act: Council house tenants may buy their homes



September 21

First CND rally at Greenham Common, Berkshire, against proposed siting of US Cruise missiles



November 4

Ronald Reagan defeats Jimmy Carter in US presidential election



 
1981

February 10

The Coal Board announces that it is to close 50 pits employing 30,000 miners



March 26

Social Democratic Party is formed



July 29

Prince of Wales marries Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral



September 15

Government announces 10 million to redevelop the South Docks area of Liverpool



 

Top of page Top of page

1982

January 12

Spain calls off its 12-year siege of Gibraltar



April 2

Argentina invades and annexes Falkland Islands and their dependencies



April 5

Navy task force sails from Portsmouth



April 7

Exclusion zone of 200 miles around Falklands is announced by Defence Ministry



June 13-14

Pincer attack on Port Stanley leads to Argentinian surrender



June 21

Prince William is born – third in line to the throne



 
1983

January 31

Wearing of seatbelts is made compulsory



May 16

Wheel clamps introduced in London



June 9

Conservatives win the general election with a majority of 144



July 6 & 7

The government announces a rise in defence spending (including 624 million for the Falklands) and the new Chancellor Nigel Lawson announces public spending cuts of 500 million



 

Top of page Top of page

1984

January 9

Index of share prices tops 600 for the first time



March 5

Miner’s strike against threatened pit closures, begun in Scotland on 21 Feb, spreads to Yorkshire



April 12

Telecommunications Act: privatises British Telecom



December 3

British Telecom shares go public, great gains on first day of trading



 
1985

January 25

Debate in House of Lords televised for the first time



March 5

NUM calls off year-long miners strike



April 11

First British baby dies of AIDS, an 18-month old boy



August 20

Amstrad launches its PCW 8256 word processor



September 26

The government announces it has allotted 1 million to counter the spread of the AIDS virus



 

Top of page Top of page

1986

January 20

Channel Tunnel project confirmed



March 2

The Queen signs the Australia Bill, formally severing the nation’s last constitutional ties with Britain



July 31

Three-and-a-quarter million are unemployed, the highest recorded figure



November 6

The Chancellor announces 4.6 billion rise in public spending



December 8

Trading in British Gas shares begins



 
1987

June 11

General election cuts Conservative overall majority to 101



October 19

Black Monday: the Stock Market crashes



 

Top of page Top of page

1988

March 3

Liberals and SDP merge as Social and Liberal Democratic Party (SLD)



December 21

Pan Am jumbo jet blown up by bomb above the Scottish borders; wreckage falls on Lockerbie; 270 passengers and crew and 11 townsfolk are killed



 
1989

May 8

Labour Party National Executive drops nationalisation as a fundamental objective of policy



October

Withering away of communism in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Hungary



November 9

Demolition of the Berlin Wall begins



 

Top of page Top of page

1990

March 31

Violent demonstrations against the Poll Tax in London



September 6 to 7

Parliament recalled: MPs back government’s anti-Iraq stance in the Gulf Crisis after Iraq invaded Kuwait



November 22

Mrs Thatcher announces her intention to resign



November 28

John Major succeeds Thatcher as Prime Minister



December 1

Channel Tunnel: pilot tunnels from English and French coasts meet



 
1991

January 16 to 17

RAF planes collaborate with UN allies in concentrated bombing of Iraqi airfields and strategic bases



January 28

British advance on Baghdad stops when UN operations are halted by Iraqi acceptance of provisional cease-fire



 

Top of page Top of page

1992

April 9

General election cuts Conservative overall majority to 21



October 15

British troops begin peace-keeping duties in Bosnia



December 9

Major announces that the Prince and Princess of Wales are to split



 
1993

October 8

John Major promotes his ‘Back to Basics’ campaign for Britain at the Tory Party conference



 

Top of page Top of page

1994

May 6

President Mitterrand and Elizabeth II open the Channel Tunnel



July 21

Tony Blair elected leader of the Labour Party



October 17 to 21

Elizabeth II makes the first state visit by a reigning British monarch to Russia



 
1995

April 29

Labour party special conference accepts modification of the 1918 party constitution: ‘Clause 4’ commitment to nationalisation of production, distribution and exchange is dropped



May 31

British government announces formation of five-nation rapid action force to impose peace in Bosnia



June 22

Prime Minister Major resigns as Conservative leader in order to seek a party vote of confidence



July 4

Major receives vote of confidence in leadership contest



 

Top of page Top of page

1996

March 20

The British Government announces that Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is likely to have been transmitted to people



 
1997

May 1

The Labour Party end 18 years of Conservative rule in the 1997 UK general election



May 2

Tony Blair appointed Prime Minister



August 31

Diana, Princess of Wales is taken to a hospital after a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris. She is pronounced dead at 4:00 the next morning



September 11

Referendum in Scotland in favour of Scottish parliament



September 18

The referendum held in Wales sees a narrow vote in favour of devolution



 

Top of page Top of page

1999

January 1

Euro currency introduced across participating European Union Countries



March 24

NATO forces led by Britain and the United States began air attacks on Serbia – transforming NATO from a defensive to an offensive alliance



 
2000

September 7 to 14

The UK fuel protests take place, with refineries blockaded, and supply to the country’s network of petrol stations halted



 

Top of page Top of page

2001

February 20

Foot-and-mouth crisis begins



April 29

Census of British population



June 7

Tony Blair’s Labour Party elected for second term in UK General Election



September 11

Almost 3,000 killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City, The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and rural Shanksville, Pennsylvania



October 7

The American attack on Afghanistan begins. The United Kingdom participates



 
2002

April 9

Funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother takes place in Westminster Abbey, London



 

Top of page Top of page

2003

March 20

2003 Iraq war: land troops from United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invade Iraq



 
2004

May 1

The largest expansion to date of the European Union takes place, extending the Union by 10 member states: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Malta and Cyprus



 

Top of page Top of page

2005

April 9

The marriage of The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles takes place, after being briefly postponed after Pope John Paul II’s death. Camilla assumes the titles Her Royal Highness and The Duchess of Cornwall



May 5

In the 2005 general election the Labour Party is re-elected



July 7

Four explosions rock the transport network in London, three on the London Underground and one on a bus. Over 50 people died, and over 200 were injured



October 21

200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar; celebrations held around the United Kingdom