A.A. Historical Events in February
1918 – Original date set for Bill W.’s marriage to Lois Burnham. The date was moved up because of the war.
1942 – Bill W. paid tribute to Ruth Hock, AA’s first paid secretary, who resigned to get married. She had written approximately 15,000 letters to people asking for help
1941 – Pittsburgh Telegram ran a story on the first A.A. group’s Friday night meeting of a dozen “former hopeless drunks.”
1940 – Bill W., Dr. Bob, and six other A.A.s asked 60 rich friends of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. for money at the Union Club, N Y. They got $2,000.
1940 – Houston Press ran first of 6 anonymous articles on A.A. by Larry J.
2002 – Sue Smith Windows, Dr. Bob’s daughter died.
1922: Harold E. Hughes was born on a farm near Ida Grove, Iowa. After his recovery from alcoholism, he
became Governor of Iowa, a United States Senator, and the leading dark horse for the Presidential
Democratic nomination in 1972, until he announced he would not run. He authored the legislation which
created the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and other legislation to help alcoholics
1938 – Clarence S. (“Home Brewmeister” in 1st, 2nd & 3rd editions) had his last drink.
1945 – World War II paper shortage forced reduction in size of the Big Book.
1937 – Oxford Groups “Alcoholic Squadron” met at the home of Hank P. (“The Unbeliever” in the 1st edition of the Big Book) in New Jersey.
1940 – With about two years of sobriety, Jim B. (“The Vicious Cycle”) moved to the Philadelphia area and started the first Philadelphia A.A. group.
1971 – AA groups worldwide held a memorial service for Bill Wilson.
2000 – William Y., “California Bill” died in Winston Salem, NC.
1946 – AA Tribune, Des Moines, IA, reported 36 new members since Marty M. had been there.
1941 – Baltimore Sunday Sun reported city’s first AA group begun in 1940 had grown from 3 to 40 members,
with five being women.
1943 – AA’s were granted the right to use cars for 12th step work in emergency cases, despite gas rationing.
1967 – Father “John Doe” (Ralph P.), 1st Catholic Priest in AA, died.
1941 – The Toledo Blade published first of three articles on AA by Seymour Rothman.
1939 – 400 copies of the Big Book manuscript were sent to doctors, judges, psychiatrists, and others
for comment. This was the “multilith” Big Book.
1842 – Abe Lincoln addressed the Washington Temperance Society in Springfield, IL.
2002 — Hal M., “Dr. Attitude of Gratitude,” died. He had 37 years of sobriety. Hal testified,
anonymously, before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse on December 3, 1970.
1999 – Felicia G., author of “Stars Don’t Fall,” died. Born Countess Felicia G. in 1905, she was the
daughter of Count Josef G. and Eleanor Medill Patterson. She married Drew Pearson in 1925 and divorced
him three years later. She married Dudley de Lavigne in 1934, but the marriage lasted less than a year.
In 1958 she married John Kennedy Magruder and divorced him in 1964. For most of her professional career,
she went by the name Felicia G.
Other February happenings with no specific date:
1908 – Bill W. made boomerang.
1916 – Bill W. & sophomore class at Norwich University was suspended for hazing.
1938 – Rockefeller gave $5,000 to AA.
1939 – Dr. Harry Tiebout endorsed AA, the first psychiatrist to do so.
1940 – First organization meeting of Philadelphia AA is held at McCready H.’s room at 2209 Delaney Street.
1940 – 1st AA clubhouse opened at 334-1/2 West 24th Street, NYC.
1943 – San Francisco Bulletin reporter Marsh Masline interviewed Ricardo, a San Quentin Prison AA group member.
1946 – Baton Rouge, La., AA’s hold their first anniversary meeting.
1946 – The AA Grapevine reported the New York Seaman’s Group issued a pamphlet for seamen “on one page the 12 Steps have been streamlined into 5.”
1946 – Des Moines Committee for Education on Alcoholism aired its first show on KRNT.
1946 – Pueblo. Colorado, had a second group, composed of alcoholic State Hospital patients.
1951 – Fortune magazine article about AA was published in pamphlet form.
1959 – AA granted “Recording for the Blind” permission to tape the Big Book.
1963 – Harpers carried article critical of AA.
1981 – 1st issue of “Markings,” AA Archives Newsletter, was published, “to give the Fellowship a sense of its own past and the opportunity to study it.”
Thanks to Billy C. and Nancy O. of the group “AA History Buffs” for this list, used by permission.