AA’s Traditions were first published in the April 1946 AA Grapevine under the title, Twelve Points to Assure Our Future, and were formally adopted at the First International Convention in 1950. Wilson’s book on the subject, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, published in April of 1953.
With the publication of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” in 1939, the pioneering period ended and a prodigious chain reaction set in as recovered alcoholics carried their message to still others. In the next years alcoholics flocked to A.A. by tens of thousands, largely as the result of excellent and continuous publicity freely given by magazines and newspapers throughout the world. Clergymen and doctors alike rallied to the new movement, giving it unstinted support and endorsement.
This startling expansion brought with it very severe growing pains. Proof that alcoholics could recover had been made. But it was by no means sure that such great numbers of yet erratic people could live and work together with harmony and good effect. Everywhere there arose threatening questions of membership, money, personal relations, public relations, management of groups, clubs, and scores of other perplexities.
It was out of this vast welter of explosive experiences that A.A.’s Twelve Traditions took form and were first published in 1946 and later confirmed at A.A.’s First International Convention held at Cleveland in 1950. The Tradition section of this volume portrays in some detail the experience which finally produced the Twelve Traditions and so gave A.A. its present form, substance, and unity.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions