Marines hoist flag at Southern Thule 19 June 1982 (catalogue reference: ADM 202/903 (3))

28 December 2012

The National Archives has today released more than 6,000 files from 1982, providing the official record of a momentous year in British politics.

Margaret Thatcher's third year in power was dominated by the Falklands War with Argentina. The Prime Minister's testimony to the Falkland Islands Review Committee, released today for the first time, reveals how she described news of the invasion as 'the worst…moment of my life'. The decisions taken by the War Cabinet are documented in CAB 148/211 and CAB 148/212, while other papers provide details of diplomatic efforts to avoid military action and the eventual recapture of the islands.

The files released today also provide new insight into other key events of 1982, including the visits to Britain of President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II and the disappearance of the Prime Minister's son, Mark Thatcher, during a car rally. On the home front, the files reveal the government's attempts to tackle unemployment and 'renew values' in society.

View a selection of the newly-released Cabinet Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Prime Minister's Office files, the key events of 1982 and the British Cabinet in 1982.

Listen to our podcast to hear contemporary records specialists Mark Dunton and Simon Demissie discussing highlights from the latest release.

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