May 1919 - Bill returns home from service. (BW-RT 109) (Dec 1934 - Bill works with alcoholics, but fails to sober any of them. to May 1935) Lois reminds him HE is still sober. (NG 25-26) March-May 1938 - Bill begins writing the book Alcoholics Anonymous. (PIO 193, AACOA 153) May 1947 - Grapevine reports Indiana activities. (GV) May 1949 - Bill W., presented a talk to the American Psychiatric Association's 105th Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada. (LOH 156, PIO 334, AACOA 205 ) May 1950 - Nell Wing became Bill W's secretary.(GSO) May 1951 - Al-Anon is founded by Lois W. and Anne B. (LR 199) May 1968 - Grapevine article by Jim B. Big Book story "The Vicious Cycle". (GV, www) May 1, 1939 - Bank forecloses on 182 Clinton Street. (sometimes reported April 26,1939) (AACOA 173) May 1940 - Rollie H, Cleveland Indians, first anonymity break on national level. (DBGO 251 - 253, PIO 236 - 238, HIW 157 - 158) May 1, 1941 - The first Wisconsin AA meeting was held at a hotel in Milwaukee. (www) May 2, 1941 - Jacksonville, FL newspaper reported the start of an AA group. (www) May 3, 1941 - The first AA group in New Orleans, Louisiana, was formed. (sometimes dated as May 2, 1943) (www) May 3, 1941 - Democrat Chronicle in Rochester, NY, reported first annual AA dinner at Seneca hotel with 60 attending. (www) May 4, 1940 - Sunday Star reported founding of first AA group in Washington, DC. (www) May 8, 1943 - Akron AA Group celebrates 8th anniversary with 500 present and sober. (www) May 8, 1971 - Bill W buried in private ceremony, East Dorset, Vermont. (PIO 406) May 10, 1939 - Clarence S announced to the Akron Oxford Group members that the Cleveland members were starting a meeting in Cleveland and calling it Alcoholics Anonymous. (HIW 140, AACOA 19-21, NW 94, SI 35, DBGO 161-168, NG 78-79, PIO 224, AGAA 4, 201,242, GSO-AC) May 11, 1935 - Bill W made calls from the Mayflower Hotel (AACOA 65-67, SI 21, BW-RT 212-213, DBGO 60, 63-67, NG 26-28, PIO 134-138, GB 19) May 11, 1939 - First group to officially call itself Alcoholics Anonymous met at Abby G's house in Cleveland Heights, OH. (HIW 140-142) May 12, 1935 @ 5 pm - Bill W met Doctor Bob at the home of Henrietta Seiberling. (www) May 15, 1961 - Bill W's mother, Dr Emily Strobell, died. (PIO 387) May 16, 1993 – Anderson, IN., founder George L. dies. (50 years sober. local archives) May 17, 1942 - The Dayton Journal Herald published pictures of AA members wearing masks to protect their anonymity. (GSO-AC, www) May 17, 1942 - New Haven, Conn paper has article on AA. Picture shows faces of members sitting in a circle. (GSO-AC, www) May 19, 2000 - Dr. Paul O., Big Book story "Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict" (renamed "Acceptance Was the Answer" in the 4th edition) died at the age of 83.(www) May 28, 1974 - The first World Service Meeting of AA outside North America was held in London. (GSO-AC) May 29, 1980 - "Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers" was published. (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.