AA Grapevine's Contributions to AA

Contributions to AA

In its sixty-year history, the Grapevine has recorded the growth of AA and introduced many of the principles of the program and tools of sobriety, including the Traditions, the Preamble, the Slogans, and the Serenity Prayer.

The Twelve Traditions

In response to some of the pressing problems of the day facing AA groups, Bill W. wrote the "Twelve Suggested Points for AA Tradition," laying out the framework of what would become the Traditions. This historic piece was published in the April 1946 issue of the Grapevine.

The Preamble

As interest in the new Fellowship grew, the Grapevine editors wrote a brief definition, making the nature of the AA Fellowship clear to both members and nonmembers. The AA Preamble, in two concise paragraphs setting forth what AA is and what it is not, made its first appearance in the June 1947 issue.

The Slogans, the Serenity Prayer, and the Man on the Bed

Many of the sights and sounds familiar to us in AA meetings today were first introduced in the Grapevine.

After seeing the Serenity Prayer in a newspaper in 1942, Bill W. and the early AAs had the Serenity Prayer printed on cards and included in all AA correspondence. By publishing it in early issues, the Grapevine helped usher it into general use within the Fellowship. The prayer has been a regular part of the magazine's format since July 1967.

The slogans, which had been circulating in early AA meetings, first appeared in their now familiar hand-lettered form in late 1956 and early 1957 issues of the Grapevine. Each was reproduced on the inside back cover and accompanied by an article about it.

The painting, "The Man on the Bed," was created for the December 1955 issue of the Grapevine. It is treasured by many AAs as a reminder of Bill W. and Dr. Bob's Twelfth-Step visit to AA number three and as a symbol of Twelfth Step activity. The Grapevine recently issued a new color reproduction of the painting.

Responsibility Declaration

The Responsibility Declaration was written for the 1965 International Convention in Toronto by Al S., a former Grapevine editor and trustee. Bill W. expanded on the theme in an essay called "Responsibility Is Our Theme" for the July 1965 Grapevine. It became a regular feature of the Grapevine shortly thereafter.

Big Book Stories

More than a dozen stories in the second, third, and fourth editions of the Big Book were first published in the Grapevine, as were the stories in AA in Prison: Inmate to Inmate and many quotations in As Bill Sees It. Over the years, the Grapevine also has provided articles for several AA pamphlets including "Problems Other Than Alcohol" and the Traditions Checklist.

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