skip to content cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
Welcome to Silkworth.net
cleardot.gif is used as spacer.Alcoholics Anonymous . . . experience the history . . .
WWW.SILKWORTH.NETcleardot.gif is used as spacer.. . . lest we forget!
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif cleardot.gif
Return to previous pageGO BACK
Return to previous page

| print this

A Narrative Timeline Of AA History

Public Version vApril 04'

1937 to 1938

A Narrative Timeline Of AA History – 1774 to 2003

1937

Early, Bill W and Lois attended a major Oxford Group house party at the Hotel Thayer in West Point, NY. For the previous 2 ½ years they had been attending two OG meetings a week. (NW 89)

On the AA calendar of “year two,” the spirit of Tradition Three emerged. A member asked to be admitted who frankly described himself to the “oldest” member as “the victim of another addiction even worse stigmatized than alcoholism.” The “addiction” was “sex deviate.” [4] Guidance came from Dr Bob (the oldest member in Akron, OH) asking, “What would the Master do?” The member was admitted and plunged into 12th Step work. (DBGO 240-241, 12&12 141-142) Note: this story is often erroneously intermingled with an incident that occurred eight years later in 1945 at the 41st St clubhouse in NYC. (PIO 318)

Late spring, leaders of the Oxford Group at the Calvary Mission ordered alcoholics staying there not to attend meetings at Clinton St. Bill W and Lois were criticized by OG members for having “drunks only” meetings at their home. The Wilson’s were described as “not maximum” (an OG term for those believed to be lagging in their devotion to OG principles). (EBBY 75, LR 103, BW-RT 231, NG 45, NW 89-91)

Apr, Ebby T got drunk after two years and seven months sobriety. (LR 197, EBBY 77, BW-FH 63, PIO 177)

Aug, Bill and Lois stopped attending Oxford Group meetings. The NY AAs separated from the OG. (LR 197, AACOA vii, 74-76)

Alcoholic residents at 182 Clinton St were Ebby T, Oscar V, Russell R, Bill C and Florence R (A Feminine Victory). In Oct, Bill C, a young Canadian (and former attorney who sold Bill W’s and Lois’ clothes to get liquor) committed suicide in the house while Bill and Lois were away visiting Fitz M (PIO 165 says summer of 1936). Florence R, the first woman at Clinton St, later went to Washington, DC to help Fitz M. She started drinking again in 1939 and later died destitute in 1941. (AACOA 19, AABB 16, BW-RT 237-239, LR 107)

Nov, Bill W and Dr Bob met in Akron and compared notes. 40 cases were sober (more than 20 for over a year). All once diagnosed as hopeless. In a meeting at T Henry Williams’ home, Bill's ideas, for a book, hospitals and how to expand the movement with paid missionaries, narrowly passed by 2 votes among 18 members. The NY group was more enthusiastic. (AACOA vii, 76-77, 144-146, BW-RT 239-243, DBGO 123-124, NG 56-57, PIO 180, LOH 142)

During the rest of Nov, Bill W and Hank P tried to raise money for the book without success. (LR 197, PIO 181)

Dec, Bill W’s brother-in-law, Dr Leonard V Strong, set up a meeting with Willard S Richardson (manager of John D Rockefeller’s philanthropies). A second meeting was held and included Bill, Dr Bob, Hank P, Fitz M and Ned P (a new man). Other attendees were Dr Silkworth, Richardson, Frank Amos, A LeRoy Chipman and Albert Scott. (AACOA 147-149, BW-RT 245-246, NG 65-66, PIO 181-185) Bill also wrote that Akron, OH member Paul S (Truth Freed Me) attended the second meeting as well. (LOH 59-60)

1938

Nations of the world armed for World War II and Frank Buchman called for a “moral and spiritual re-armament” to address the root causes of the conflict. He renamed the Oxford Group to Moral Re-Armament. (www, NW 44)

Feb 1, Frank Amos went to Akron, OH to inspect the group there. He made a very favorable report to Willard Richardson who presented it to John D Rockefeller Jr. urging a donation of $50,000 ($650,000 today). (BW-FH 105-106 says $10,000, $5,000 a year for 2 years, in LOH 61 Bill W says $30,000). (SM S3, BW-RT 246, LR 197, DBGO 128-135, BW-FH 105-106, PIO 185-187, LOH 143, AGAA 217, 258) Rockefeller refused to make the donation but provided $5,000 ($65,000 today) to be held in a fund in the Riverside Church treasury. Much of the fund was used to pay off Dr Bob’s mortgage and provide Bill and Bob with $30 a week ($390 today) as long as the fund lasted. (BW-RT 247, AACOA 149-151, DBGO 135, PIO 187-188)

May 20, (PIO 193 and AACOA 153 say Mar/Apr) beginning of the writing of the Big Book at Hank P’s office (Honors Dealers, 17 William St in Newark, NJ). Bill W wrote, edited and rewrote manuscripts at home on legal pads then dictated chapters to Ruth Hock (nicknamed “Dutch” - short for “Duchess”). Most of the early hand-written Big Book manuscript documents were lost during a later move from Newark to NYC. (AACOA vii, 159, BW-RT 248-250, LR 197, BW-FH 115, PIO 193, 235, GB 55, LOH 106-107, WPR 79)

Jun, Bill W wrote to Dr Bob “By the way, you might all be thinking up a good title. Nearly everyone agrees that we should sign the volume Alcoholics Anonymous. Titles such as Haven, One Hundred Men, Comes the Dawn, etc. have been suggested.” (NG 74-75, 333)

Jun 15, Lois’ recollection of the first use of the term Alcoholics Anonymous. (LR 197)

Jul 15, in a letter to Messrs. Richardson, Chipman and Scott of the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill W invited them to his home on Clinton St for meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. (PIO 202)

Jul 18, Dr Richards (of Johns Hopkins) stated in a letter that Bill W, at that time, was using the name Alcoholics Anonymous both as the working title of the book and as the name of the Fellowship. (PIO 202)

Jul 27, Dr William Duncan Silkworth wrote a letter of support for AA for use in fundraising for the book. The letter was incorporated into the chapter The Doctor’s Opinion. (SW center-fold photo exhibits, AACOA 168) Dr Esther L. R of Baltimore was the member who suggested to Bill W to get a “Number one physician” in the alcoholism field to write an introduction. (NG 332)

Aug 11, the Alcoholic Foundation was established as a charitable trust with a board of 5 Trustees (in LOH 61 Bill W said it started with 7 Trustees). Non-alcoholic board members were Willard (Dick) Richardson (who proposed the Foundation) Frank Amos and John E F Wood. One of the early challenges facing Wood was legally defining the difference between an alcoholic and non-alcoholic. (LOH 61) Alcoholic board members were Dr Bob and NY member William (Bill) R (A Business Man’s Recovery). Bill R was the first Board Chairman but returned to drinking and resigned in Feb 1939. The board composition began a long (and later troublesome) tradition of making non-alcoholics a majority. An advisory committee to the board was also established. It consisted of A LeRoy Chipman, Bill W, Albert L Scott and Hank P. (GSO, BW-RT 248, AACOA 151-152, LR 197, NG 66, 307, 330, PIO 188) (NG 330 end note states AACOA date and Amos’ date of Aug 5 are in error and gives the date as Spring 1938, LOH 142 and AACOA 15 say Spring of 1938).

Sep, board Trustee Frank Amos arranged a meeting between Bill W and Eugene Exman (Religious Editor of Harper Brothers publishers). Exman offered Bill a $1,500 advance ($19,400 today) on the rights to the book. The Alcoholic Foundation Board urged acceptance of the offer. Instead, Hank P and Bill formed Works Publishing Co. and sold stock at $25 par value ($325 today). 600 shares were issued: Hank and Bill received 200 shares each, 200 shares were sold to others. Later, 30 shares of preferred stock, at $100 par value ($1,300 today) were sold as well. To mollify the board, it was decided that the author’s royalty (which would ordinarily be Bill’s) could go to the Alcoholic Foundation. (LR 197, BW-FH 116-119, SM S6, PIO 193-195, AACOA 157, 188) Encouraged by Dr Silkworth, Charles Towns loaned Hank and Bill $2,500 for the book. It was later increased to $4,000. ($52,000 today). (PIO 196, SM S7, LOH 176, AACOA 13-14, 153-159)

Oct, Bill W’s recollection of the first use of the term Alcoholics Anonymous. (AACOA 165, PIO 202)

Dec, the Twelve Steps were written at 182 Clinton St (in about 30 minutes). Much argument (sometimes heated) ensued over their wording. (LOH 200, AACOA vii, 160-163, BW-RT 253, PIO 197-199, GB 55-57, AGAA 260)

A Narrative Timeline Of AA History – 1774 to 2003

 
Return to previous pageGO BACK
Return to previous page


cleardot.gif
top of page | Sitemap | Search
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif cleardot.gif
:: Copyright © Silkworth.net | Disclaimer | Privacy |
designed for cross browser support
 
cleardot.gif cleardot.gif
corner-bl.gif cleardot.gif corner-br.gif
cleardot.gif