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A Narrative Timeline Of AA History

Public Version vApril 04'

1966 to 1970

A Narrative Timeline Of AA History – 1774 to 2003


Mar 21, Ebby T died (of emphysema). He had 2 ½ years sobriety. (LOH 367, EBBY 143, PIO 336)

Apr 1, Sister Mary Ignatia Gavin (age 77) died. (LOH 371 says Apr 2)

Apr 2, Dr Harry Morgan Tiebout (age 70) died. (LOH 369, HT viii)

Apr 18-23, Hotel Roosevelt in NYC. Theme: Principles Before Personalities. The 16th GSC recommended that:

  • The restructure plan of the GSB be approved changing the board into a body of 14 AA (Class B) and 7 non-alcoholic (Class A) trustees. (Fl Act) (AACOA x, PIO 396-397)

  • The GSB consist of 8 regional AA trustees, 6 from the US, 2 from Canada. Also, 6 “General Service” Class B trustees (chosen for business skill) - 4 from the NY City area, 1 from Canada, 1 from anywhere in the US. (Fl Act)

  • It be reaffirmed that the color-sound film Bill’s Own Story is for use by AA groups only, not for outside agencies. (CPC/PI)

  • AAWS publish a new hardcover book containing excerpts from Bill’s letters, books, Grapevine articles and other writings with a title something like “The AA Reader” or “Selected Writings by Bill.” (Lit.)

  • A Conference Institutions Committee be established. (Policy)

Dec, the Exchange Bulletin was renamed to Box 459. (Box 459 Oct/Nov 2002)


GSB membership was increased to 21 Trustees. (GSO)

The AA Way of Life (retitled in 1975 to As Bill Sees It) was published. Janet G assisted with editing. (AACOA x, PIO 360)

Apr, the copyright to the first Ed. Big Book expired and was not renewed. The oversight was not discovered by AAWS until 1985. (NG 299)

Apr 17-22, Hotel Roosevelt in NYC. Theme: Sponsorship - the Hand of AA. The 17th GSC recommended that:

  • GSC approve Guidelines for group separation of AA and Al-Anon. (Excerpt: The use of the word “family” should be deleted from an AA group’s name; that so-called “joint groups” can dilute the help available in each Fellowship; either AA or Al-Anon can hold open discussion meetings but a group cannot be both; that officers should be either AA or Al-Anon depending upon affiliation and that new members be encouraged to stick to either an AA or Al-Anon group since they will get the most help by staying close to the group relating to their problem). (Fl Act)

  • The Serenity Prayer be incorporated into the Grapevine’s regular monthly format. (Gv)

  • In the board report accepted by the GSC it recommended that “to insure separation of AA from non-AA matters by establishing a procedure whereby all inquiries pertaining to B-3 and niacin are referred directly to an office in Pleasantville, NY in order that Bill’s personal interest in these items not involve the Fellowship.” (PIO 391)

Jun 17, T. Henry Williams died. (AGAA 69)

The American Medical Association (AMA) passed a resolution identifying alcoholism as “complex” disease and a “disease that merits the serious concern of all members of the health profession.” (www)


Jan 24, Bill W and Lois celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. (LR 159)

Apr 22-27, Hotel Roosevelt in NYC. Theme: Personal Recovery Depends Upon AA Unity. The 18th GSC recommended that:

  • Delegates voted unanimously that the first World Services Meeting be held in NYC, in the fall of 1969, and accepted a 7-point proposal of the Trustees’ World Service Planning Committee. (Fl Act)

  • The showing of the full face of an AA member at the level of press, TV, and films be considered a violation of the Anonymity Tradition, even though the name is withheld. (PI)

First AA membership survey taken. (NG 273)


Apr 21-26, Hotel Roosevelt in NYC. Theme: Our Group Conscience: Voice of AA. The 19th GSC recommended that:

  • The GSC approve the recommendations to incorporate into existing AA Guidelines the questions on how AA and Al-Anon can cooperate with regard to central offices and area and regional get-togethers and conventions. (Fl Act)

  • The GSC approved a resolution of gratitude to AFG. (Fl Act)

  • Approved a final draft of the AA Service Manual, a revision of the Third Legacy Manual (Rept/Ch)

Oct 9-11, the first World Service Meeting was held in NYC with delegates from 14 countries. (AACOA x)


Apr 20-25, Hotel New Yorker in NYC. Theme: Service - the Heart of AA. The 20th GSC recommended that:

  • The 20th GSC go on record as opposing the use of the title “AA Counselor.” (Fl Act)

Apr, GSO moved to 468 Park Ave South in NYC. (PIO 399)

Jul, AA’s 35th anniversary and 5th Int’l Convention at Miami Beach, FL. Est. attendance 10,700 (13,000?) Keynote was Declaration of Unity: This we owe to AA's future: to place our common welfare first; to keep our Fellowship united. For on AA Unity depend our lives and the lives of those to come. It was Bill’s last public appearance. (AACOA xi, NG 145-146)

Summer, long-time GSB Trustee Bernard B Smith died. (NG 392)

Dec, Lois W’s brother Rogers Burnham died (he introduced Lois to Bill). (GTBT 85)

A Narrative Timeline Of AA History – 1774 to 2003

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