History of the First Conference

Last Updated on March 2, 2016 by Area 53 Web Team


First General Service Conference – April 20-22, 1951

On April 19, 1951 – Thirty-seven US and Canadian delegates (half the planned number) convened at the Commodore Hotel in NYC as the first Panel of the General Service Conference. Bernard B Smith presided. Fifteen Trustees and various staff members from the NY Office and Grapevine joined the Conference as voting members.

The Conference unanimously recommended several advisory actions. Among them that Bill W’s royalty from his books should be increased to 15% and continue for his lifetime. It was also recommended that nonalcoholic Board members should continue in office and that alcoholic Board members should have fixed terms of office. It was further recommended that AA literature should have Conference-approval.

The Conference also suggested that the Alcoholic Foundation ought to be renamed the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous. This suggestion was brought up repeatedly over the next three years and was finally adopted in 1954.

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