Archives: The First News Article About the Success of AA in Detroit

The First News Article About the Success of AA in Detroit

On August 3, 1941 a 2nd article about Alcoholics Anonymous appears in the Detroit Free Press.

Aug. 3, 1941 Detroit Free Press

It has been 14 months since the Detroit News had introduced a new method of recovery in Detroit. In the Sunday Free Press August 3, 1941, it explains how this new “club” of alcoholics helps other alcoholics to refrain from drinking.

“The article goes on to explain how important it is for one alcoholic to help another alcoholic. It is, “An organization without formal initiation, dues or officers: its only function is the giving of help by former victims of drink to other persons who have given up the lone fight against their obsession.”

Page 2

“Here in Detroit, the organization numbers approximately 100 people.”

It goes on to tell the story of an alcoholic. “He is a man who a few years earlier was worth over two million dollars (this was 1941), he had a family of six, but had lost it all and now was living in a flop house on skid row. He was at a pawn shop on Michigan Ave about ready to pawn his overcoat for a few dollars to be able to buy a drink. He was 12th Stepped by a recovering alcoholic and urged to find a power greater than himself.

“From the time the victim cries for help he becomes the charge of the organization. Each day a selected member calls by telephone or in person to join in the battle. for it must be remembered that the man who gives the helping and was no better a case than his protégé and it this very act of helping another which makes his own fight easier.”

“The denunciations of professional reformers, they say, too often lose their point because the crusader by the very nature of things knows nothing of the pitiful fight that the alcoholic makes periodically against his affliction. They know little of the shattered nerves and the hells of remorse that follow a protracted ‘binge.”

FootNotes:

  • References: Detroit Free Press; Detroit Main Library.
  • © 2020 by Bill T, Archivist, General Service of Southeastern Michigan, Area 33
  • For further information:area33archivist@aa-semi.org
  • Posted: 2020-10-04