Feb 1908 - Bill made boomerang his grandfather Fayette challenged him to make and perceived himself as a “Number One Man.” (BW-RT 33-35) (Eddie H. - “What do you call a boomerang that does not come back?" "A Stick")
Feb 1916 - Hazing incident Norwich University, Bill & sophomore class suspended. (PIO 49, BW-RT 87) Feb 1933 - Congress passed the 21st amendment to the US Constitution to repeal the 18th amendment. (www) Feb 1938 - Rockefeller gives $5,000 to AA. - Saves AA from professionalism. (BW-FH 105-106, LOH 61, 143) (SM S3, BW-RT 246, LR 197, DBGO 128-135, PIO 185-187, AGAA 217, 258) Feb 1939 - Dr Howard of Montclair, N.J., suggests swapping "you musts" for "we ought" in the Big Book. (AACOA 164-168, BW-FH 126, NG 66-67, PIO 203) Feb 1940 - 1st AA clubhouse opens at 334-1/2 West 24th Street, NYC. (LR 197, AACOA viii, 180-181, 187, BW-RT 272-273, PIO 238-239, GB 64, LOH 147) Feb 1947 – Grapevine, reports of Public Welfare in Indiana article, "Some Aspects of A.A.", Informational Meeting in Muncie. (GV) Feb 1951 - Fortune magazine article about AA. New York reprints in pamphlet form for many years. (www) Feb 1963 - Grapevine article "Alcoholism--a Medical Bombshell", by Indianapolis Hoosier, Dr. Donald 'Doc' B. (GV) Feb 1963 - Harpers carries article critical of AA. (www) Feb 1981 - 1st issue of "Markings" AA Archives Newsletter is published. (GSO-AC) Feb 1942 - Ruth Hock, AA's 1st paid secretary, resigns to get married. (AACOA 16, 195-16, GTBT 168, PIO 304, LOH 152 says 1941) Feb 2, 1954 - Bill W declined an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Yale U. (LOH 205, GB 69, BW-FH 201) Feb 3, 1972 - Anderson Herald, Alcoholic, Compelled To Drink, Loses Freedom Of Choice article. Feb 5, 1947 – Muncie Evening Press, Letter to the Editor Feb 8, 1940 - Rockefeller dinner. (www) (LR 197, BW-RT 264-267, AACOA viii, 182-187 NG 92-94, BW-FH 109-112, PIO 232-235) Feb 8, 1940 - Houston Press ran first of 6 anonymous articles on AA by Larry J. (AACOA 24, DBGO 259, LR 198) Feb 9, 1947 – Anderson Public Meeting, at Judge Harold Achor’s Superior Court Room. Feb 9, 2002 - Sue Smith Windows, Dr Bob's daughter died. (www) Feb 11, 1937 - First New Jersey meeting was held at the home of Hank P. ("The Unbeliever" in the first edition). Some sources report this as happening Feb 13, 1937. (www) Feb 11, 1938 - Clarence S. ("Home Brewmeister" 1st- 3rd edition) sobriety date. (HIW 54) Feb 14, 1971 - AA groups worldwide hold memorial service for Bill W. (GSO-AC) Feb 14, 2007 - Nell Wing, Bill’s secretary dies. (www) Feb 15, 1918 - Sue Smith Windows, Dr. Bob's adopted daughter, was born. (CH 11, PIO 140) Feb 15, 1941 - Baltimore Sunday Sun reported that the city's first group, begun in June 1940, had grown from 3 to 40 members. (GSO-AC) Feb 18, 1943 - During gas rationing in WWII, AA's are granted the right to use cars for 12th step work in emergency cases. (www) Feb 19, 1967 - Father "John Doe" (Ralph P), 1st Catholic Priest in AA dies. (www) Feb 20, 1941 - The Toledo Blade published first of three article on AA by Seymour R. (www) Feb 23, 1959 - AA granted "Recording for the Blind" permission to tape the Big Book. (www) Feb 28, 1940 - First organization meeting of Philadelphia AA was held at McCready H.'s room at 2209 Delancy Street. (GSO-AC)
Information has been gleaned from the library noted below:
12&12 Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, AAWS AABB Alcoholics Anonymous, the "Big Book" AAWS AACOA AA Comes of Age, AAWS ABSI As Bill Sees It, AAWS AGAA The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, by Dick B (soft cover) BW-RT Bill W by Robert Thomsen (soft cover) BW-FH Bill W by Francis Hartigan (hard cover) BW-40 Bill W My First 40 Years, autobiography (hard cover) CH Children of the Healer, Bob Smith and Sue Smith Windows by Christine Brewer (soft cover) DBGO Dr Bob and the Good Old-timers, AAWS EBBY Ebby the Man Who Sponsored Bill W by Mel B (soft cover) GB Getting Better Inside Alcoholics Anonymous by Nan Robertson (soft cover) GTBT Grateful to Have Been There by Nell Wing (soft cover) GSC-FR General Service Conference - Final Report (identified by year), AAWS GSO General Service Office - Presentations and Literature, service pieces, AAWS/GSO US/Canada GSO-AC General Service Office Archives Collection Gv Grapevine - identified by month and year HIW How It Worked by Mitchell K (illustrated PDF file version) HT Harry Tiebout - the Collected Writings, Hazelden Pittman Press (soft cover) LOH The Language of the Heart, AA Grapevine Inc LR Lois Remembers, by Lois Wilson MMM Mrs Marty Mann, by Sally and David R Brown (hard cover) MSBW My Search for Bill W, by Mel B. (soft cover) NG Not God, by Ernest Kurtz (expanded edition, soft cover) NW New Wine, by Mel B (soft cover) PIO Pass It On, AAWS RAA The Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, by Bill Pittman, nee AA the Way It Began (soft cover) SI Sister Ignatia, by Mary C Darrah (soft cover) SD Slaying the Dragon, by William L White (soft cover) SM AA Service Manual and Twelve Concepts for World Service, AAWS SW Silkworth - the Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks, by Dale Mitchell (hard cover) WPR Women Pioneers in 12 Step Recovery, by Charlotte Hunter, Billye Jones and Joan Ziegler (soft cover) www Internet Sources (e.g. Google, Microsoft Encarta, US National Archives & Records Admin. NARA, etc.)
Page numbers follow the source reference: e.g.: PIO 111, 113 = Pass It On pages 111 and 113.
Abbreviations: AA Alcoholics Anonymous GSB General Service Board AAWS AA World Services Inc. GSC General Service Conference AFG Al-Anon Family Groups MRA Moral Re-Armament BBS Big Book Story OG Oxford Group
This Timeline of A.A. History is based on information provided to the AAHistoryLovers e-group, with local "Hoosier" events added, with references.
"AA Members seem to have a warm place in their heart for AA history. AA also has a very strong verbal tradition. Much information is circulated in AA by word of mouth. This has both its good and difficult sides. How do you know what is fact and what is myth? A great deal of myth circulates by word of mouth in AA. To help address this, the timeline items in this paper (history) are cross-referenced to one or more reliable written references. The references provide both corroboration and sources for further investigation and historical research." - Arthur S., TX.