March 24. The Soviet newspaper Pravda warns US to avoid the emigration issue and accuses 'international Zionism' of attempts to disrupt détente and increasing cooperation between the US and the USSR.
June 27. President Richard Nixon's second summit meeting takes place in Moscow. The matter of the deprivation of rights for Jews is not resolved.
August. Nixon's mid-term successor, President Gerald M. Ford,meets with Senators Henry M. Jackson, Abraham Ribicoff and Jacob Javits and discusses the issue of Soviet Jewry, including the pending Jackson- Vanik Amendment to the Trade Reform Act.
December 20. The Jackson-Vanik Amendment is overwhelmingly approved by the US Congress, making US trade concessions and low- interest loans to any "non-market economy" (communist) conditional on "respect for the right to emigrate."
January. Following a 2-year campaign, President Gerald M. Ford signs the Jackson-Vanik Amendment into law, ignoring Soviet objections. January 14. Soviet Union repudiates 1972 trade agreement with the US, in response to passage of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.
March 20. Former Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trial of Nazi leaders, Prof. Telford Taylor, and a group of US lawyers issue a report on the failure of private negotiations to secure release of "prisoners of Zion.".
August 1. Despite strong opposition in the Congress, President Gerald M. Ford signs the Helsinki Final Act which, among other things, allows for "human contacts," the free movement of people, and the reunification of divided families as basic human rights. Leonid Brezhnev signs for the Soviet Union; the document becomes a global instrument for pressing human rights in the USSR especially Jewish emigration.
October 10. Parliamentarians from 12 West European countries form a committee supporting Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union.
February 17-19. Over 1,000 delegates from around the world attend the Second World Conference of Jewish Communities on Soviet Jewry in Brussels. The Soviet Union protests to the Belgian government, while former Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir attends.
May 12. The first Helsinki Watch Group meets in Moscow as a group of dissidents and activists to monitor Soviet adherence to the Helsinki Final Act.
June 3. President Gerald M. Ford signs into law a bill creating a US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the "Helsinki Commission") to monitor adherence to the Helsinki process. The Commission has the active support of the Soviet Jewry Movement and human rights groups.
July 8. A memorial is unveiled at the Babi Yar ravine, without any reference to the thousands of Jews brought there to be killed during World War II by German troops, with help from Ukrainian units.
March 15. Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky, a young Jewish activist and a participant in the human rights movement, is arrested on charges of treason and spying for the US.. This is seen by Washington as a Soviet challenge to the humanitarian provisions of the Helsinki Final Act and an obstacle to US-USSR détente.
June. President Jimmy Carter declares that Anatoly Sharansky is not a CIA agent and that the charges were "patently false."
Following the arrest of Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky, Congressional Wives for Soviet Jewry is formed in Washington, DC to serve as a public advocacy group. The first co- chairs were Helen Jackson , Jeanette Williams, Paula Blanchard, and Joanne Kemp. The group will go on to "adopt" other Jewish Prisoners of Conscience in the Soviet Union, including Ida Nudel.October. The First Review Meeting of the Helsinki Final Act is held in Belgrade. The US delegation, led by Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, presses human rights issues, notably family reunification for Soviet Jews. Soviet delegates maintain a hard line on the issue of the free movement of people.
July 14. Anatoly Sharansky is sentenced to 3 years in prison and 10 years forced labor. His case attracts world attention and becomes a symbol of Jewish refuseniks and prisoners of Zion for the Soviet Jewry Movement.
April. 5 Soviet dissidents and Jewish activists, exchanged by the US for 2 Soviet spies sentenced in the US, arrive in New York City. Mark Dymshitz and Eduard Kuznetsov, sentenced at the First Leningrad Trial in 1970, become guests of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and are greeted at New York's "Solidarity Sunday" before leaving for Israel.
January 22. Andrei Sakharov, noted physicist and human rights advocate, exiled from Moscow to Gorky after protesting the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. Sakharov is an outspoken supporter of Jewish refuseniks and their right to leave for Israel.
March 15. The Union of Council for Soviet Jews convenes an international meeting in London and in Israel, meeting with officials and local groups to coordinate efforts and discuss strategies and programs to defend Soviet Jews.
November 11. Major forum to review the Helsinki Final Act opens in Madrid, with US delegation headed by Ambassador Max Kampelman. For several months, the World Conference on Soviet Jewry with the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, and others, including the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews and Helsinki Watch, maintain an ongoing presence, circulating documents, organizing special events, briefing delegates, and meeting the media.
September. Open letter from refuseniks to the US "Congress and US Jewish organizations," dealing with emigration issues and arbitrary restrictions, is made available in the West by advocacy groups.
October 12. More than 100 Hebrew teachers and students in the Soviet Union, working in unofficial groups, protest to Supreme Soviet about efforts to stamp out their efforts by way of harassment and arrests.
April 1. The Anti-Zionist Committee of the Public is formed in Moscow to combat Jewish emigration activities..
March 15. The 3rd World Conference on Soviet Jewry is convened in Israel, with a large US contingent. Long range plans are set in motion that reflect changing developments in the Soviet Union.