Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in the U.S. in 1935, just two years after the end of Prohibition and three decades before these photos were taken, in the spring of 1964. June 10 marks the fellowship’s 80th anniversary.
AA was founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, both alcoholics. Their 1939 book Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism became informally known as the Big Book. Many of the book’s principles are still used to treat addiction today.
According to AA teachings, anonymity is crucial in order to put “principles before personalities.” Members know each other by their first names only. Wilson was known as Bill W. and Smith as Dr. Bob.
It’s why no faces are shown in these photographs.