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Alcoholism Issues Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

80 Years Ago Today Bill Wilson Cofounded Alcoholics Anonymous

By Staff Editor
Jun 10, 2015 - 5:47:50 PM

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( Bedford Hills, NY -  June 10, 1935 is considered by millions in recovery around the world to be “Founder’s Day” of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – the first ever 12 Step organization. Marking the 80th anniversary this June/July are celebrations in Bedford, NY, E. Dorset, VT, Akron, OH, Atlanta, GA, and elsewhere. On June 6, 2015 the National Historic Landmark (NHL) plaque unveiling ceremony was held at Stepping Stones, the Bedford Hills, NY home of AA cofounder Bill Wilson and Al-Anon Family Groups cofounder Lois Wilson. Dignitaries unveiled the official marker designating the Wilsons’ home as a NHL by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service (NPS). The high honor is shared by about 2500 sites selected because of their significance to America and the standards of preservation they uphold. Presenters and guests included: Margaret Griffith Strong Dettman, Bill Wilson’s great niece; Mindi Rambo, NPS; NY State Senator George Latimer; NY State Assemblyman David Buchwald; Town of Bedford Supervisor Christopher Burdick, Board Members Mary Beth Kass, Frances Corcoran, and Don Scott,  and Historian John Stockbridge; National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence President and CEO Andrew Pucher; Stepping Stones President John Koster, Past President Jim Moogan and Executive Director Sally Corbett; Evelyne Ryan, Executive Director, Bedford Historical Society; community volunteers from schools, Bedford Armonk Rotary, and Run for Recovery; and guests from as far away as Sweden and India.

Bill Wilson worked to help AA grow to become a worldwide fellowship while living at Stepping Stones from 1941 until his death in 1971. Today AA estimates that more than 2 million people in more than 170 countries belong to the fellowship. “Alcoholics Anonymous,” the book for which Bill Wilson served as primary editor, is one of the most popular books of all time with over 34 million copies distributed in English alone according to AA. Bill Wilson wrote the book “The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” in his writing studio at Stepping Stones.

Lois Wilson lived at Stepping Stones until her death at the age of 97 and a half in 1988. She cofounded the group for family and friends of alcoholics, Al-Anon Family Groups, in 1951 in her “gallery” at Stepping Stones. The “gallery,” as Lois called it, is her office and library with walls and shelves covered with material related to AA history. Lois also worked in support of Alateen, a group for the children of alcoholics. She founded and served as first President of the Stepping Stones Foundation in 1979 to ensure that the property would be maintained and available for future generations.        

The nonprofit, tax-exempt Stepping Stones Foundation ( preserves the home and its contents (15,000 items), Bill W.’s writing studio, 100,000 manuscripts, and more than 8 acres of gardens and woodlands. The Foundation offers tours by reservation Mon. through Sat. at 1 p.m.and off-site programs. To volunteer or support Stepping Stones, the public may call914-232-4822, email [email protected], go online, visit Facebook at or find the organization on Twitter as @BillWHome.


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