History

History Of Chicago Alcoholics Anonymous

Chicago AA, which was the first area to have its own central office, has a long history and extensive archives.

September 1939: First AA group starts in Chicago

History of Chicago AA

1939
April 10

Big Book published

the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, was published.
September 1

September 1939 : AA Comes to Chicago

“Earl T. and the Earlytimers” first meet in Evanston, Illinois, forming the first AA meeting in Chicago.
November 1

November 1939: Meeting moves downtown

Earl T’s Evanston meeting moves downtown to the Medical and Dental Arts Building on North Wabash, between Lake and Wacker.
1940
January 1

Bill W visits Chicago

Bill Wilson made his first visit to the Chicago group
1941
April 1

April 1941: Chicago Group divides

The Chicago Group was divided into ten sectional groups
1945
December 1

December 1945: Grapevine Published

The first issue of the Grapevine was published and was adopted as the national medium for Alcoholics Anonymous.
1948
January 8

January 1948: Grace Cultice Dies

Grace Cultice, Chicago’s longtime secretary, friend, confidante, and inspiration, passed away.
1949
May 1

May 1949: First central office opens

Chicago opens the first central office in the country
1950
February 1

February 1950: Chicago Daily News articles published

The Chicago Daily News ran a series of seven articles about AA.
November 16

November 1950: Dr. Bob dies

The nurse in attendance stood by his bedside. Co-Founder of AA, Dr. Bob lifted his hand to the light, and with a final confirming glance he spoke, “you had better call the family, this is it.” Following Dr. Bob’s death, Earl T. was chosen to..Read More
1951
February 13

February 1951: First Chicago Delegate to GSO Elected

With Bill Wilson in attendance, Luke H. was elected as the first Chicago Delegate to the General Service Conference. The Alternate Delegate was George T. Both were elected unanimously, and without opposition
1955
February 10

February 1955: Chicago AA Incorporates

Finance Committee announced the incorporation of two not-for-profit corporations, one called Alcoholics Anonymous and the other called A.A. of Chicago Inc.
May 5

May 1955: Central Office Moves

The Chicago Central Office moved to 250 W. Wacker. Although the office relocated several times within the building, the address remained unchanged until December of 1996
1962
October 16

October 1962: Earl T dies

The Chicago group lost its first sober member, Earl T. His passing marked the beginning of the end of the era of the founders of the Chicago Alcoholics Anonymous Group. Earl had been sober for twenty-five years and five months.
1967
August 1

August 1967: Dorothy Garland Retires

Dorothy Garland, having joined as the Assistant Secretary in August of 1946, and having succeeded our first secretary, retired. The entire MRC paid tribute to Dorothy for her service to Chicago Alcoholics Anonymous.
1971
January 24

January 1971: Bill W dies

Following a long illness, Co-Founder of AA, Bill Wilson was laid to rest in East Dorset, Vermont.
2019
September 1

Chicago AA Celebrates 80 years