A.A. Grapevine Comes into Existence

The Year

1944

June

  In the early years of A.A., pamphlets were written, printed and distributed by whoever was inspired to do so. A.A.'s in about 20 states either produced pamphlets of their own or distributed those obtained from other states. And much of it was helpful. Mike R., recalling a little group in Cordell, Oklahoma, in the 1940's says, "we got material from all over. Akron and Little Rock and, I think, Memphis. As well as from New York." (There was no such thing as Conference-approved literature," because there was no Conference.) The Akron pamphlets continued to be produced and used well into the 1970's.
 The "headquarters" office of A.A., as it was called then, developed several pamphlets in the 1940's to meet needs as they arose. One of the earliest was called simply "A.A." It contained a brief section headed "Am I an Alcoholic?" plus several personal stories and endorsements from medicine and religion, and ended with the Twelve Steps. It measured 8 1/2" by 5 1/2" and had a white cover. "Medicine Looks at A.A." was also one of the earliest, perhaps reflecting Bill's preoccupation with getting approval from the medical profession.  *See Note:

A.A. Grapevine Comes into Existence

 
    In 1944 six A.A. members from the New York area — four women and two men establish an eight-page bulletin intended to bring A.A. news to members, (including soldiers overseas), expands to become the Fellowship’s official magazine hence the A.A. Grapevine came into existence. With the blessings of A.A.'s co-founder Bill W., they published the first issue in June 1944, just nine years after the founding of A.A. It comes to be called A.A.'s “meeting in print.”


     The Grapevine pieces were reprinted in pamphlet form in 1947. Titled "A.A. Tradition," the pamphlet also contained information on policy regarding hospitalization, anonymity, money, clubs, and the function of the office.
*Note: Apparently the problem of doctors' prescribing sedatives to alcoholic patients and the problem of dual-addiction were present from the start, for, significantly, a pamphlet on "Sedatives and the Alcoholic" was published in 1948. The Jack Alexander article from the Saturday Evening Post was also reprinted.
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