On This Day, Jan. 19, 1966: Indira Gandhi Elected

Indira Gandhi became the first female head of government after the death of Indian Prime indira 3Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.  She was a controversial figure in Indian politics.  She was the second longest serving Prime Minister in India’s history.

Indira Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917.  She was the daughter of Jawawarharlal  and Kamala Nehru, who had also served as Prime Minister.  She served as the Chief of staff of her father’s administration and was later offered the premiership to succeed her father to which she refused.  Choosing instead to become a cabinet minister in the government. She finally consented to become Prime Minister in 1966.

Gandhi served from 1966  to 1977 and was elected again in 1980, she served until she was assassinated in 1984 reportedly by a Sikh member of her bodyguard.

There have been recent claims that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain may have helped Indira plan Operation Blue Star, an operation to  quell a potential armed insurrection that began in the Punjab.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Blue_Star  Those claims have since been unsubstantiated.

Rajiv Gandhi succeeded his mother as Prime Minister, he too was assassinated in 1989.


Also on this date

First McDonald’s drive-through opens in Beijing, 2007

Production begins on Toy Story, 1993

Fleetwood Mac reunite to play “Don’t Stop” at Bill Clinton’s first Inaugural gala, 1993

Notre Dame beats UCLA to end 88-game winning streak, 1974

Operation McLain is launched, 1968


sources: wikileaks and history.com