'Friends of Bill W' at 80: Alcoholics Anonymous eight decades on
On June 10th DON'T raise a glass in celebration of Alcoholics Anonymous' 80th anniversary.
The international mutual aid fellowship, commonly referred to as AA, was unofficially founded on June 10th 1935 when self-described alcoholic Dr. Bob Smith had his last drink handed to him by fellow AA co-founder Bill Wilson. Four years later the recovering alcoholics would publish their "Twelve Steps" program which emphasized the recognition of personal weakness, apologizing to those you have harmed, and putting trust in God.
Today there are nearly 100,000 thousand Alcoholics Anonymous groups worldwide, and an estimated 5 million participants who attend at least one meeting per year. Active members will regularly refer to themselves as "friends of Bill W," a reference to original co-founder Wilson.
The organization will celebrate their anniversary with a four day convention in Atlanta from July 2nd to 5th and they expect 61,000 guests from 80 different countries to be in attendance.