FAQ About Al-Anon’s History
In May of 1951, Anne B. and Lois W. wrote a letter to the original 87 A.A. Family Groups (including some Lone Members). One of the questions asked, “Do you approve of the name A.A. Family Group? If not, what do you suggest?” By March of 1952, the members selected the name Al-Anon Family Groups.
The word “Al-Anon” is simply a derivative of Alcoholics Anonymous, combining the first syllables of each word
The first letter is dated “May 1951” and the entire month is traditionally recognized as Al-Anon’s anniversary
Alateen groups were started in September of 1957, in Pasadena, California
The first World Service Conference was held on April 20-23, 1961 in New York City, NY at the George Washington Hotel.
The circle within the triangle was approved at the 1968 World Service Conference.
No. Anne B. is the cofounder of Al-Anon. Annie S. is the wife of Dr. Bob, who is the cofounder of A.A. Annie S. passed away in 1949 before the Al-Anon clearing house was founded.
Printouts with registration dates are sent to either the area delegates or group records coordinators twice a year. Many Al-Anon information service offices retain these printouts and are able to provide you with an answer. If your area is unable to locate the information, ask your Archives Coordinator to contact Group Records at the WSO.
- Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P-24/27)
- Alateen—Hope for Children of Alcoholics (B-3), pages 105-116
- How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics (B-22), pages 141-149 and “Lois’s Story,” page 152
- The Al-Anon Family Groups—Classic Edition (B-5), page 12 and entire text
- Lois Remembers (B-7), Entire text and timeline on page 197
- Al-Anon’s Cofounders (P-87)
- Anne’s Story: Cofounder of Al-Anon Family Groups (P-66) – Out of Print
- Lois’ Story – Videocassette (AV-1) – Rental Only
- Lois W. and the Pioneers – Videocassette (AV-24) – Rental Only
- Al-Anon: Then and Now (a brief history) (AR-2)
The Al-Anon Family Groups published in 1955. The original text was reprinted in 2000 and is available by ordering The Al-Anon Family Groups—Classic Edition (B-5).
Alice B., an Al-Anon member, spoke with many pioneers who shared their experience, strength and hope to provide the fundamental principles for this work. The first publication was in 1968.
A few historical events of A.A. are listed in the timeline in Lois Remembers (B-7).