1938 Original Manuscript for 1939 1st Edition BigBook Searchable 1976 3rd Edition BigBook On-Line
The Prescription
Click The Images To Go To Page Indicated In The Flag

Index of AA History Pages
On Barefoot's Recovery Site

Lest We Forget ..... Our History

There's A Meeting Here Tonight

History is never an accurate portrayal of what has gone before. Based as it is on the interpretation of whatever data might be available, even the best historical record fails at its task of reconstructing the past. Even events that happened only yesterday cannot be reconstructed perfectly in the present. The event is forever gone. Our knowledge of A.A. history is therefore sometimes little more than a patchwork of facts and assumptions made by consenting individuals. The data presented below are recollections by individuals involved in that history as preserved in the written word over the passing years since the beginnings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Let's Ask Bill W.

Officer Bill

A Strange Obsession
by Bill W.

A Most Important Piece of Paper
Bill's Admission Slip to Towns Hospital

Gresham's Law & Alcoholics Anonymous
Why Alcoholics Anonymous is not as effective now as it was in prior years.

A History of A.A. and Medicine Forging a Durable Relationship

Ebby T.
The Man Who Carried The Message To Bill W.

The Pioneers of Alcoholics Anonymous, 1934 - 1939

The Origins of A.A.
The remarks of Henrietta Seiberling as presented at Founder's Day, June 10, 1971

Emmet Fox and Alcoholics Anonymous

Every member should have a copy to study and compare.
It is considerably more pointed at YOU, the suffering alcoholic!
My sponsors insisted I learn my AA from it.

The Book Before The Big Book
Richard Peabody's "Common Sense of Drinking"
One of Bill W's sources in writing the manuscript.

AA History And How The Big Book Was Put Together
by Bill W., Fort Worth, Texas - 1954

Why We Call It The Big Book

The First Edition Big Book Stories
Including 1st Edition Printing History
Story listings - Original Manuscript through 3rd Edition
and story author's names where known.

A Big Book Trivia of Some Missing Facts

A Signed First Edition Big Book

Signatures In The First Big Book Ever Sold

Never ..... Rarely???

The Old and New AA Preamble History

Where Did The 12 Steps Come From?
A Fragment of History by Bill W.

The "Twenty-Four Hours a Day" Book

The Origin of our Serenity Prayer
As published in BOX-459 - August/September, 1992

"The Fellowship Of Alcoholics Anonymous"
A Talk By Bill Wilson - Yale School of Alcohol Studies - June 1944

Twelve Suggested Points of AA Tradition
Article by Bill W - AA Grapevine, April 1946
[Bill's first General Presentation of the Traditions to the Groups]

A.A. Grapevine Editorials on The 12 Traditions
by Bill W. from April 1946 to November 1949

The Story of Irma Livoni
As related by Matt M.,, a sponsee of Sybil C.

Is A.A. For Alcoholics Only?
by Bill W., September 1947 Guideposts Magazine
Bill's first nationally published magazine article

All Things to All People?
From the March 2000 Grapevine

The Road From Clinton Street
by Bill W.,1955, before the Manhattan Group

The Links In The Chain
by Bill W.,1956, before the National Committee On Alcoholism

The First Links In The Chain
The History from Jung to Rowland in the Oxford Groups to Ebby to Bill to Dr. Bob
to the Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous

How Many, That Dr. Bob Sponsored, Stayed Sober?

The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety
by Bill W., AA Grapevine 1958

Problems Other Than Alcohol:
What Can Be Done About Them?
by Bill W., AA Grapevine 1958

What Is Acceptance?
by Bill W. -- AA Grapevine, March 1962

Unforgettable Bill W.
and the "Bedtime Story"
April 1986 Reader's Digest Article

"People In AA History Mentioned In The Literature"
Who Were They? What Did They Do?

"Ruth Hock's Recollections - 1955"
The First Secretary of Alcoholics Anonymous
Every Word In The Big Book Came Under Her Fingers

We The People
The Gabriel Heatter broadcast of April 25, 1939
The first national exposure for Alcoholics Anonymous

1939 Cleveland Plain Dealer Articles
The first extensive publicity of the newly-formed AA Fellowship

The 1939 Liberty Magazine Article -- "Alcoholics and God"
The first successful nationwide exposure of Alcoholics Anonymous

Charles B. Towns and Towns Hospital

The Rockefeller Dinner - 1940
Digest Of Proceedings At Dinner Given By Mr. John D. Rockefeller Jr.,
In The Interest Of Alcoholics Anonymous,
At Union Club, New York City, February 8, 1940.

Philadelphia A.A. Statistics 1940-1941
The Philadelphia A.A. group was formed February 20, 1940
This report was made at the request of Jack Alexander, writer for the
Saturday Evening Post in preparation for the "Alcoholics Anonymous" article below.

"Alcoholics Anonymous"
The original Saturday Evening Post article by Jack Alexander, March 1941
It Made The Difference For The Success Of A.A.

"The Drunkard's Best Friend"
The Saturday Evening Post follow-up article on A.A. by Jack Alexander, April 1950

"ALCOHOLISM -- Is there a cure?"
The Family Circle, January 5, 1945

Pageant Magazine, April 1947

"High Praise for the Charm of Recovering Alcoholics"
by Fulton Oursler

Father Ed Dowling and AA's Bill W.
Bill's Spiritual Sponsor

Sister Ignatia - The "Angel of Alcoholics Anonymous"

The American Weekly Article About Dr. Bob, 1951
His Only Monument Is a Plaque,
but the Thousands He Helped Rescue
From Alcoholism Will Never Forget Him.

Bill Wilson's Letter to Dr. Carl Jung - January 23, 1961

Dr. Carl Jung's Letter to Bill Wilson - January 30, 1961

The Dilemma of No Faith - Bill Wilson - April 1961

This Matter of Fear - Bill Wilson - Jan 1962

Lois W., 1967 -- In AA's First Five Years
And How Al-Anon Was Started

How One AA Wife Lives the 12 Steps
Lois W. -- AA Grapvine 1953

The Wilsons - Bill and Lois

The Smiths - Dr. Bob and Anne

Bill Dotson - AA #3 - The Man On The Bed

Ernie Galbraith - AA #4

Hank Parkhurst - New York's AA #2

Fitz Mayo - New York's AA #3

Jimmy Burwell - The Agnostic
Including links to the Wilson-Burwell Letters

Jimmy Burwell -- Sober For Thirty Years

The Evolution of Alcoholics Anonymous
by Jimmy Burwell
The First Written History of the beginnings of AA

Sylvia K. – The First Woman In A.A.
With Enduring Continuous Sobriety

For Men Only?
One of AA's first woman members describes her pioneering struggle.

Marty Mann – An Early Member and
Founder of the National Council On Alcoholism

Marty Mann - After Twenty-Nine Years In AA

Marty Mann's Goal - Can We Conquer ALCOHOLISM?
Health Periodical, July 1947

Sybil C. - The First Woman in AA West of the Mississippi

Learning To Fly by Sybil C.
Grapevine, Feb 1992

What We Were Like
A Fragment of Los Angeles AA History
Grapevine, June, 1990

The Four Absolutes
The Absolutes were borrowed from the Oxford Group Movement

1944 A.A. Sponsorship Pamphlet
by Clarence H. Snyder, 1944,
One of the "First Hundred", "The Home Brewmeister"
This is the first pamphlet on A.A. Sponsorship

The Steps Of A.A. - An Interpretation
by Clarence H. Snyder, January 1972

Clarence Snyder at 30
"I've Never Quit Being Active"

I Stand By The Door
By Rev. Sam Shoemaker, the Oxford Group and Calvary Church Rescue Mission

The God Concept In Alcoholics Anonymous
By Rev. George A. Little, D.D.
The non-alcoholic who started the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in Canada

The "Grapevine" in Bow
(Possibly By Bill Wilson, July 1944, AA Grapevine)

On Cultivating Tolerance
by Dr. Bob, July 1944, AA Grapevine

The Fundamentals -- In Retrospect
by Dr. Bob, September 1948, AA Grapevine

The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks
William Duncan "Silky" Silkworth, M.D.
July 22, 1873 - March 22, 1951
A.A. Grapevine, Inc, May, 1951

Alcoholism As A Manifestation Of Allergy
by Dr. Wm."Silky" Silkworth
The Medical Record, 1937

Psychological Rehabilitation Of Alcoholics
by Dr. Wm."Silky" Silkworth
The Medical Record, 1939

Dr. Silkworth's Rx For Sobriety
The Elimination of Slips
AA Grapevine, June 1945

Slips and Human Nature
by Dr. Wm."Silky" Silkworth
AA Grapevine, January 1947

The Status of Slippers

The 12 Steps as Ego Deflating Devices
By Dr. Harry M. Tiebout, M.D

The Ego Factors In Surrender In Alcoholism
By Dr. Harry M. Tiebout, M.D

The Pink Cloud and After
By Dr. Harry M. Tiebout, M.D

My Higher Power - The Light Bulb
by Clarence H. Snyder

The Professor and The Paradox
This story only appeared in the second edition of the Big Book

The Professor Looks Back
A Dozen Years After His Story Appeared In The Big Book

My Return From The Half-World Of Alcoholism
A letter to Alcoholics Anonymous saved this lone member's life.

The "ICK" And The "ISM"

What Does The BigBook Say About Resentment?

The Phenomenon of Craving
By Barefoot Bill L.

By Barefoot Bob

The Dawn of Truth

Are You A Recovering Alcoholic?
Twenty Questions For The Alcoholic In Recovery

Fr. Ralph Pfau, AKA Fr. John Doe

Spirituality, Prayer, The 12 Steps and Judaism

The Third Step and Your Prayer

A Letter From Bill W. Regarding The Lord's Prayer In A.A.

An Interview With Dr. Paul O. - 1995

September 1967 AA Grapevine
Big Book Story Update

The 24 Hour Club
We Are Not A Glum Lot!!

Ireland – The first European Nation to accept
the Message of Alcoholics Anonynous

The Truth of what happened to The Triangle In The Circle

Some History of AA Chips

Big Book Changes in 1st 164 pages -- from 1st Edition to 4th

Fourth Edition BigBook Changes

On the 4th Edition of The BigBook, Boston Globe, 12/26/01

How It (An AA Group) Works
Rarely have we seen a group fail that has thoroughly followed AA's Traditions.

The Communication Timeline From Akron to the Internet

Special Composition Groups in A.A.

Twelve Traditions Checklist

Sue Smith Windows Passes

Robert "Smitty" Smith II Passes
Last Eyewitness of AA's Origins Dies In Memphis

Nell Wing Passes
Bill's Secretary and Assistant – 42 years with Bill and Lois
First Archivist for A.A. General Service Office

Stepping Stones
The Wilson's Home from 1941

Dr. Bob's Play

Founder's Day 2002
Cleveland Plain Dealer - June 10, 2002

Alcoholics Anonymous International Conventions

1st A.A. International, Cleveland, 1950
2nd A.A. International, St. Louis, 1955
3rd A.A. International, Long Beach, 1960
4th A.A. International, Toronto, 1965
5th A.A. International, Miami, 1970
6th A.A. International, Denver, 1975
7th A.A. International, New Orleans, 1980
8th A.A. International, Montreal, 1985
9th A.A. International, Seattle, 1990
10th A.A. International, San Diego, 1995
11th A.A. International, Minneapolis, 2000
12th A.A. International, Toronto, 2005
(The 2010 International Convention will be in San Antonio, Texas)

I have more articles of little known AA history that I have accumulated, and will be putting them on the web as time permits ... have patience ... more will be revealed!

Love and Peace, Barefoot

As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!

ABC Page 60 from the Big Book


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On the Web July 12, 2001
in the Spirit of Cooperation

Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SOBRIETY