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The History of Alcoholics Anonymous

Historical writings, documents, letters, events, people, places and references through-out the history of A.A.

bar01.gifA.A. History - In Generalbar01.gif

New line Alcoholics Anonymous: A photographic journey through its history... -Take a walk through A.A.'s history-Photo's of early A.A. members.

New line The Man on the Bed -Stain glass window. New at the Akron Intergroup office.

New line 1940 AA Preamble
We are gathered here because we are faced with the fact that we are powerless over alcohol and unable to do anything about it without the help of a Power greater than ourselves...

New line Timelines in AA's History -An extensive Flowchart from 1864 to present. -by Archie M.

New line A Narrative Timeline Of AA History -Arthur S., Northeast Texas Area Archives has built upon Archie M's original Timeline file and is still growing - 1774 to 2003. Converted to html with Arthur's permission. There is to much information to list here.
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New line Flowchart of Events of Interest to Members Of The Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous -by Miles M.

New line In AA’s First Five Years -Lois W., wife of AA’s co-founder, Bill W., recalls the time in AA when there were few members and no Big Book.
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New line 103 "MUSTS" In The Book Titled, "Alcoholics Anonymous"
If you go to enough meetings, you'll hear it said that in AA, "there are no MUSTs, only suggestions". Well, like most half-truths in A.A., if you hear them long enough you begin to believe them. But what does the Program have to say about this?

New line A Talk by Bob E., A.A. #11
Shortly, before his death, Bob E. shared with some members of the Upstate Group of All Addicts Anonymous, the following recollection of what AA was like when he first joined.

New line Alcoholics Anonymous -by Father Edward (Ed) Dowling
This is an article written by Father Ed Dowling in a column he had in The Queen's Work Magazine Dated: June 1945, page 13. Father Dowling had his own cloumn in this magazine.

New line Sister Ignatia Gavin and A.A. -Sister Ignatia Gavin, a tiny Irish-American nun, helped initiate medical treatment for alcoholics in Akron, Ohio at Towns Hospital.

New line Ruth Hock's recollections -AA's 1st Secretary, letter to Bill W., her recollections of A.A. in the beginning, transcribed from an original document, dated November 10, 1955.
spacer¬Ruth Hock's recollections -A copy of Ruth's type written letter to Bill W. in .pdf format.
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New line A Letter From Bill W. on Depression -from the memoirs of Tom P., an early California AA member.
*Aslo see: The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety, an AA Grapevine Article dated, January 1958, which is strikingly similar to this letter from Bill W. on Depression.

New line Gresham's Law and Alcoholics Anonymous -by Tom P. Jr., ©1993. Due to the file size of this article, it is presented here in four parts. All four parts will be linked together at the bottom of each page by part # & title.

New line Bill W.'s letter to Dr. Carl Gustav Jung -Dated January 23, 1961, a well overdue letter, as Bill put it.

New line Dr. Carl Jung's Letter To Bill W. -Dated January 30, 1961, In reply to Bill's letter above thats dated January 23, 1961. (Dr. Carl Jung)

New line Bill Wilson's Meeting at Henrietta Sieberling's House
...I agreed to speak but felt that it would mean most to them to hear some of her own words, so I called her on the telephone and asked her to tell me about the origins of Alcoholics Anonymous so that I could make sure my remarks were accurate. I made a tape recording of the conversation and played part of it at the ...

New line The Wilson - Burwell Letters -For quite a few years, Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Jim B., author of the 2nd and 3rd edition personal story in the Big Book titled: "Vicious Cycle", communicated via written correspondence between 1947 and 1965.

New line For Drunks Only—One Man's Reactions to Alcoholics Anonymous -by Richmond W.—author of "Twenty-four Hours a Day." For Drunks Only was originally published in 1945.

New line The Impact of Alcoholism -Bill W.'s Testimony before The Special Subcommittee July, 1969. Present: Senators Hughes, Yarborough, Williams, Javits, Dominick, and Bellmon.
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New line Chuck C.'s Testimony Before a U.S. Senate Subcommittee -September 27, 1969. Present: Senators Hughes, (presiding), Dominick, and Saxbe [members of the Subcommittee]. Also present: Senators Cranston and Murphy [both Senators from California].

New line The story behind these Four books signed by Chuck C. and Clancy I. -by Ken R. -This was sent to me by Ken R. about when he attended the annual A.A. Gratitude Roundup in Diamondhead, Mississippi on November 28th, 2009. Clancy I. wrote the Preface to Chuck's book, "A New Pair of Glasses," and Ken was thrilled that he would finally go to hear him speak and he being able to speak with him in person.

New line Matthew J. R. -"Matt R. is one of my heroes, one who, following his recovery from alcoholism, made a significant contribution to the field of alcoholism." -Nancy O.

New line Dr. Paul's Interview -Dr. Paul's story 'Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict' was published in the Third Edition of the Big Book; his remarks on acceptance, which appear on pages 449 and 450, have been helpful to many AA members over the years. This interview was conducted by telephone to Dr. Paul's home in California.

New line A Summary: Ask It Bask It - General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous - 1951-1978
(The Ask-It-Basket was a part of the General Service Conference from 1951 to 1985. Sessions ran from 3 to 6 one hour sessions during the couse of the Conference. The idea behind it was that a person seeking information or opinions on a specific subject could place an unsigned question in the Ask-It-Basket, in the main meeting room.
       The Conference produced a summary of the Ask-It-Basket questions in 1979 and this document is contained in the file 1951-1979.

New line A Summary: Ask It Bask It - General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous - 1979-1985

New line Dr. Harry M. Tiebout, MD -A strong supporter of A.A. throughout his life, he consistently worked for acceptance of his views concerning alcoholism the medical and psychiatric professions. He served on the Board of Trustees for A.A. from 1957 to 1966, and was chairman of the National Council on Alcoholism in 1950.

New line The Story of Irma Livoni -As related by Matt M., a sponsee of Sybil C. and a copy of a letter to Irma Livoni from the Los Angeles AA Group dated, Dec. 6th, 1941, kicking Irma out of A.A. Irma never returned to A.A. and died of alcoholism. A copy of the original letter was sent to me, some time back, by the owner of the original letter about the first women to get kicked out of A.A. The letter is dated December 6th, 1941.

Pre-AA | AA History - General | Research & Study | Dr. William D. Silkworth | AA Members & Writings of | Literature - AA & Groups
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Growth of A.A. | The Emmanuel Movement | Related & Influential Books | News Articles | Past, Present
cofounders of Alcoholics Anoonymous, William Griffith Wilson (Bill W) and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, M.D. (Dr. Bob); 1st AA meeting ever, June 10th, 1935.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. has neither endorsed nor approved of Welcome to Silkworth.info. Nor is Welcome to Silkworth.info affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. or any service entity of AAWS, Inc. which includes The AA Grapevine, Inc. Alcoholics Anonymous®, the book, Alcoholics Anonymous®, The Big Book®, the book, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions® are registered trademarks of AAWS, Inc. The Grapevine®, and AA Grapevine® are registered trademarks of The AA Grapevine, Inc.
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