Originally posted on NewsFeed:
Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, died at 87 on Apr. 8. Whether you agreed with her politics or not, you’ll get a kick out of these lesser-known facts about the Iron Lady.
- True story: Margaret Thatcher may have helped invent soft-serve ice cream. After she graduated from the University of Oxford with a chemistry degree, she worked as a research chemist at a Hammersmith food manufacturer called J. Lyons and Company, and was part of a team tasked with “whipping more air into ice cream.” They came up with a kind of “soft ice cream” that used fewer ingredients and saved money on production costs.
- That being said, she was later dubbed the “the milk snatcher” for discontinuing a free milk program for schoolchildren ages 7-11 in the 1970s.
- Thatcher frequently pulled all-nighters, per a new book The Real Iron Lady: Working With Margaret Thatcher by Gillian Shephard, a conservative politician who served in Thatcher’s cabinet. One night around 1:00 am, Downing Street adviser Hartley Booth asked whether staffers could go home, and the Iron Lady replied — to their chagrin — “I get a new lease on life at this time of the morning.” During another long night, the conservative Prime Minister ran a bath for her speechwriter Elizabeth Cottrell at 3:00 am.