AA Big Book
AA Big Book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alcoholics and addicts check-in to treatment centers almost every day of every year. Most receive a gift…The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). For many it is their first introduction to AA and for others it is a re-introduction. It is not unusual for someone to know the exact place and time that they attended their first AA meeting. Their day of sobriety is called their “sober birthday” distinguishing it from their actual birth date, which they learn to refer to as their “bellybutton birthday.”

This past Sunday, June 10th, Alcoholics Anonymous celebrated its 77th birthday. AA was founded by William G. Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. Remarkably now 77 years later AA has in excess of 100,000 registered local groups and over 2 million active members worldwide. Time Magazine named Wilson to their Time 100 List of The Most Important People of the 20th Century. 

Bill W. was born November 26, 1895, spending his early years living with his parents in their home and business The Mount Aeolus Inn and Tavern located in East Dorset, Vermont. He didn’t have his first drink until at the age of 21 when he served as an artillery officer as part of the Vermont Guard training in Massachusetts.

Over the years the program of Alcoholics Anonymous has been featured in many films, such as The Days of Wine and Roses, When A Man Loves A Woman, Come Back, Little Sheba, I’ll Cry Tomorrow, and Clean and Sober. As well, his story has been told in documentaries like: My Names Is Bill W. and When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story.

This year a new film has just been released and it is currently playing in theaters across the country. It is simply titled: Bill W.  You can watch the trailer here.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can click here.

For your convenience, we are providing links to related articles about AA’s 77th birthday. Today in many homes there are copies of The Big Book. Some are well-worn, some look pristine, some are tucked in briefcases and purses, some are placed lovingly on a nightstand, but one thing is certain, every owner of each copy knows they are a friend of Bill W.

One final thought, as we prepare to honor our fathers this Father’s Day let’s take a few minutes to honor the father of Alcoholics Anonymous – Bill W, being thankful for his fortitude and insight and all that his AA community has done for families across our nation and beyond. He gave us his story of experience, strength and hope.

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