Today, we celebrate 86 years of Alcoholics Anonymous! The fellowship of AA has undergone an incredible journey of success and growth since Dr. Bob Smith took his last drink on June 10th, 1935, marking the beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous. It wasn’t always success though, much of AA was built through failure. Even Dr. Bob failed to stay sober initially after meeting Bill Wilson and being presented with a solution.
Today, we can reflect back on the events that transpired in Akron, OH in the Spring of 1935 and allow the co-founders to tell the story.
In May 1935, Bill Wilson, with 6 months of sobriety arrived in Akron, OH. After a failed business deal and the urge to take a drink, Bill sought out an alcoholic to help and after a series of events was put in contact with Dr. Bob.
In this recording, Bill tells the story of his arrival in Akron:
Dr. Bob shares about Henrietta’s phone call to Anne and his meeting with Bill on Mothers Day 1935:
Bill W. stayed in Akron at Dr. Bob’s home from May until September 1935. Many of the ideas, principles, and activities that laid the groundwork for the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous occurred here. DrBobsHome.org
Dr. Bob shares about his trip to Atlantic City and his last drink on June 10, 1935:
The American Medical Conference met in Atlantic City in June 1935. This is the event that Dr. Bob attended in June 1935 where he began his last relapse into drinking before gaining permanent sobriety upon his return to Akron from the convention.
On that day, the spark was ignited resulting in millions of alcoholics finding sobriety and even more people helped through the founding of other twelve step fellowships. We can look back on the events of that Spring and see the miracle in not only Bill Wilson’s and Dr. Bob’s lives, or in the people that have recovered since then, but also in the millions to recover in the future!
Here is Dr. Bob sharing his last message with the AA fellowship: