1976, July 3
Enters the United States as a resident
1976, From mid-June to late July
Works in pond house in Vermont, writes Stolypin-Bogrovsky cycle.
1976, July 30
The family moves from Switzerland to Vermont.
The following comments were made by Cavendish residents about their new neighbor:
“We’re no damn fools. We know who’s moving up there, no matter what the Vinogradov fella says,” - Quentin Phelan, Cavendish Town Manager.
“It’s the only fence around here like that,” said Myrtle Cady, whose family once owned the property. “Some folks think that there’s no need for fences, that all you need to do is post your property and people will stay out.”
The people of Cavendish want the man left alone. “I think he’s a very remarkable man and should have his privacy,” Postmaster Sophie Snarski said. "The locals have shown they are willing to respect his privacy and we hope he will consider this. They didn’t betray his secret. It took a newspaper report in Switzerland, followed by broadcasts over Radio Free Europe to tell the world something the people of Cavendish have known and protected for months."
1977, February 28
Speech to his neighbors at the Cavendish Town Meeting and asks for their support in helping to preserve his privacy.
1978, January 1
Natalyia Solzhenitsyn is interviewed on Vermont Public Radio. She is manager of a fund established by her husband to aid refugees seeking to leave Russia. She spends much of her time seeking money for the fund.
1978, June 8
Speech at Harvard University upon receiving an honorary doctoral degree, will be published as “A World Split Apart.”
1980, February 18
Time magazine publishes article, "Communism: In Plain Sight-and Misunderstood."
The Anglo-American edition of Oak and the Calf is published. Publishes an article, "How a Poor Understanding of Russia Endangers America” for the journal “Foreign Affairs.”
1980, Throughout the year
Work on October 1916 and March 1917; revised and expanded edition of The Gulag Archipelago was published (Collected Works, Volume 5, 6, 7).
Writes overview chapters, "Reflections on the February Revolution."
November edition of the Saturday Evening Post publishes "Solzhenitsyn: His Courage with Cancer":
"The famous Russian author Maintains it was his dedication to writing that cured him of cancer 30 years ago. He’s convinced that to continue to live he must write. To him, living and writing are inseparable. … In the writing center he has established in the Vermont countryside, Solzhenitsyn, surrounded by friends, family and the latest in word processing devices, considers himself self-sufficient. It is the perfect spot from which to wage his campaign against Soviet Communism and to, as he told New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer in a 1980 interview, “race against time.”
1982, January 15
The French magazine Express publishes an article The Main Lesson.
After three years of negotiations, Solzhenitsyn allows a Life magazine reporter and photographer into their home and retreat.
1982, March 20
Article "Solzhenitsyn: Vermont’s Mystery Man" published in Boston Globe "Solzhenitsyn’s desire to write as much as he can about Russian history in the era of the 1917 Revolution leave shim little time for leisure activities. In the summer he occasionally plays tennis he had built on his property. He cuts wood with his boys in the winter, and listens to music while reading in the evenings. Friends, often from Europe and members of the Russian émigré community pay frequent visits to the Solzhenitsyn residence. …He reads-in English as well as Russian-journals, newspapers, correspondence and books, to keep abreast of international political and cultural events."
Solzhenitsyn declines White House dinner where President Reagan offers “moral support” to Russian dissidents seeking to improve human rights in the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn sends the President a letter, which he releases to the press. In it he wrote, "During the past months indirect inquiries reached me through different channels concerning the circumstances under which I would accept and invitation to the White House. I always answered that I would be prepared to go for a substantive conversation with you, in a setting which would make an effective, in-depth exchange of views possible, but not for a merely formal ceremony. The life span at my disposal does not leave any time for symbolic encounters."
1983, May 7-12
Receives the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion and meets with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Established by Sir John M. Templeton, it is religion’s equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize. From the prize's website:
"The Templeton Prize honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s struggle for open expression made him one of the world’s most respected men. Under the repressive Soviet regime, he held firm in his beliefs and shared his worldview through powerful writings and devastating critiques of Russian Communism. His works renewed vitality in the Orthodox tradition and evidenced a profound spirituality."
Vermont Life magazine publishes an interview with the Solzhenitsyn family that was granted at the request of Governor Richard Snelling:
"The picture that emerged was of a typical American family; a basketball hoop over the garage, a well-tended vegetable garden, a dog and two cats. this was a close knit family, drawn together by Solzhenitsyn’s overriding mission-to set down in writing a historical record of Russian history in the 20th century."
In the article Solzhenitsyn shares:
"We have grown to like Vermont very much, and we wouldn’t leave this for any other place but Russia, if it ever becomes free. In any case, if Russia does not, we will be buried in Vermont."
Solzhenitsyn opened his Vermont compound to French television cameras for an exclusive interview.
"Here in Vermont, for the first time in my life, I have the perfect conditions to work. I have privacy and isolation, I enjoy a marvelous relationship with American libraries with rich Russian collections and archives. And I do not have the KGB looking over my shoulders. The only thing missing is my fatherland." Associated Press
1984, February 13
The 10th anniversary of exile from Russia.
1984, March 3
The killing of a woman of Russian descent in Pittsfield prompts Solzhenitsyn to urge Americans not to equate Russian-Americans with Soviet communists. Solzhenitsyn’s letter is in reply to a request for help from the father of Tania Zelensky, a 31-year-old woman officials say was shot by a man who believed she was a Russian spy.
1984, May 24
Receives a standing ovation after receiving an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during Holy Cross College's commencement. The college president, Rev. John Brooks, proclaimed of Solzhenitsyn, "In an age in which authentic courage is rare, your writings and your life have transmitted strength to all who share your dedication to the truth". (Associated Press)
Beginning of persecution of Solzhenitsyn in the American press in connection with the novel August 1914.
1985, March 29
A hearing of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Senate of the United States is convened in connection with the "Solzhenitsyn affair”.
Files applications for US citizenship in St. Albans, VT
1985, June 24
His wife, children and mother-in-law become American citizens. Solzhenitsyn does not attend due to ill health.
1985, November 14
The expanded version of August 1914 containing a new section on the assassination of a Russian prime minister by an anarchist Jew has touched off a controversy as to whether Solzhenitsyn is anti-Semitic. Many prominent Jews and scholars come to his defense.
Receives treatment for skin cancer.
1986, November 18
50th Anniversary of The Red Wheel from the date of conception.
1986, The end of the year
Two volumes of March 1917 are published in Russian (Collected Works, Volumes 15 and 16).
Begins work on sketches from Literary Collections.
A Danish newspaper reports that Cancer Ward will be published in the Soviet Union, which had been banned as it was critical of the Soviet system under Stalin. Solzhenitsyn and his wife attend a concert by their son Ignat. In a post concert interview, Mrs. Solzhenitsyn says the reports of Cancer Ward’s publication are false.
Writes chapters 9 and 10 of Sketches of Exile.
Writes chapters 11, 12, 13 of Sketches of Exile.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Natalia Solzhenitsyn denies reports that Kremlin officials had contacted her husband with offers to publish his novels in the Soviet Union and invite him back to the land from which he was exiled 14 years ago.
Solzhenitsyn declines an invitation to join a Soviet committee responsible for building a memorial to Stalin’s victims. In a telegram to the organizing committee, he said it was impossible to ignore the treason charge, which has never been withdrawn. He also notes that he had already created a memorial to the victims of the Kremlin repression in his book The Gulag Archipelago, which was published in the West in 1974 but banned by the Soviet authorities.
Kremlin ideologist say Solzhenitsyn to remain on the Soviet Union’s “blacklist of forbidden writers saying that “to publish Solzhenitsyn’s work is to undermine the foundations on which our present life rests.”
1988, December 11
Solzhenitsyn turns 70. More than 1,400 people in Moscow attended a ceremony honoring him at the House of Cinema
1989, July 20
Article appears in the Rutland Herald about Joe Allen, owner of the Cavendish General Store and his sign “No restrooms, no bare feet, no directions to the Solzhenitsyn’s”.
Allen said that he has never met Solzhenitsyn and wouldn’t know if he ‘fell out of a tree and on top of me.’ He doesn’t share the same desire to meet the author as the people he has turned away.
Fifteen years after being banished from the Soviet Union and from its press, the magazine Novy Mir, publishes the first chapters of The Gulag Archipelago.
Officials in Moscow say Solzhenitsyn could regain Soviet citizenship by simply filing an application. Solzhenitsyn says he will not return until all his works-including Gulag and the cycle of books called The Red Wheel, which Communist Party officials have called particularly offensive, are published.
In the Soviet Union, several literary journals declare 1990 as the “Year of Solzhenitsyn,” and his works are reprinted, serialized and published widely.
Writes paper "How Can We Improve Russia?"
The Associated Press announces that President Mikhail S. Gorbachev has restored the citizenship of Solzhenitsyn along with an undetermined number of exiles. Natalia Solzhenitsyn vehemently denies claims. She reiterated that her husband’s return to his homeland is contingent upon the government formally dropping its charge of treason against him, and the publication and widespread circulation of his major works. Rutland Herald, 8/17/90
1990, September 18
Komsomolskaya Pravda and Literaturnaya Gazeta publish his article, "How Can We Improve Russia?"
1990, December 11
Refuses State Prize for The Gulag Archipelago.
Solzhenitsyn receives an honorary degree from Dartmouth- “our Vermont neighbor who spends a great deal of time using Baker Library.”
As reported in the Eagle Times (9/15/91), at the Cavendish Bicentennial Parade Solzhenitsyn says, “We'll definitely return back home to Russia. I said a long time ago that I definitely will return and that stays intact. I’m not going to live here forever.”
The chief Soviet prosecutor officially closed the 1974 treason case against Solzhenitsyn.
Gorbachev has handed the KGB file of Solzhenitsyn over to his Soviet publisher. Tass says the author intends to take up permanent residence in Russia.
Top Secret reveals that KGB agents secretly poisoned Solzhenitsyn at a department store candy counter in a bungled 1971 assassination attempt that left him with serious burns. On the incident, Solzhenitsyn said, “At last it is an explanation of something I could not understand at the time-where this sudden malady has come from.” Associated Press 4/21/92
Natalia Solzhenitsyn returns to Moscow after 18 years in exile and promised her husband would return soon. “He surely will come back. He think-and I think he is right-that it’s going to be the very last move of his life, and it should be well prepared.” New York Times 5/23/92
Boris Yeltsin shortly after arriving in Washington for a summit meeting with President Bush, telephones Solzhenitsyn. In a 30-minute conversation, they discussed their shared “pain for Russia.”
1993, January 19
Awarded the American Literary Award of the National Arts Club; gives a speech “Playing Upon the Strings of Emptiness”.
The Associated Press reports a brick house is being built on about 10 acres of land in a resort area outside of Moscow, Troitse-Lykovo.
Farewell trip though Europe before return to Russia.
1994, February 14
As Russians anxiously await the return of Solzhenitsyn, Cavendish says goodbye. An article in the New Yorker magazine shows that Solzhenitsyn has been doing exactly what he said he was doing-He works seven days a week, waking at six, taking a lunch break and working late into the evening.
1994, February 28
Solzhenitsyn gives a farewell speech at Cavendish Town Meeting.
1994, April 16
At the Vermont House, records last interview in the West with Paul Khlebnikov of Forbes magazine.
1994, May 25
Solzhenitsyn and his wife and his son Stephan fly from the U.S. to Russia.