Thatcher spoke of national defense during Southwest Florida stops

FILE - In this June 23, 1982 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher gestures with her pen as she answers a reporters question during a news conference at the United Nations. Ex-spokesman Tim Bell says that Thatcher has died. She was 87. Bell said the woman known to friends and foes as 'the Iron Lady' passed away Monday morning, April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/File)

FILE - In this June 23, 1982 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher gestures with her pen as she answers a reporters question during a news conference at the United Nations. Ex-spokesman Tim Bell says that Thatcher has died. She was 87. Bell said the woman known to friends and foes as "the Iron Lady" passed away Monday morning, April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/File)

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher spoke about national defense during two trips to Southwest Florida in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

In February, 1998, Thatcher addressed a crowd of about 700 at the Ritz-Carlton Naples during the Quest Educational Foundation speaker series, which raised more than $150,000 for children's educational programs.

During the speech, Thatcher spoke against then-Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein and the government of North Korea, which she said was starving its people and selling weapons to “rogue states.”

Thatcher returned to Southwest Florida in February, 2001, when she spoke to about 900 people at the Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa, as part of a Hillsdale College seminar series. During that visit she spoke about the importance of the United States maintaining the strength of its national defense.

“I believe the first duty of a government is to protect their people under all circumstances,” Thatcher said at the time.

Thatcher died of a stroke Monday morning.

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