Wayback Wednesday: Jolliet-Marquette Upper Mississippi Exploration 1673
Three hundred, fifty years ago, today…
On May 17, 1673, Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette departed from St. Ignace, Michigan, with two canoes and five other voyageurs of French-Indian ancestry. The group sailed to Green Bay. They paddled upstream (southward) on the Fox River to the site now known as Portage, Wisconsin. There, they portaged a distance of slightly less than two miles through marsh and oak forest to the Wisconsin River. Europeans eventually built a trading post at that shortest convenient portage between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. On June 17, the canoeists ventured onto the Mississippi River near present-day Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
The Jolliet-Marquette expedition paddled along the west bank of the Mississippi until mid-July. When they passed the mouth of the Arkansas River, they became satisfied that they had established that the Mississippi flowed into the Gulf of Mexico.
The voyageurs then followed the Mississippi back to the mouth of the Illinois River, which friendly natives told them was a shorter route back to the Great Lakes. Following the Illinois river upstream, they turned up its tributary, the Des Plaines River near modern-day Joliet, Illinois. They continued up the Des Plaines River and portaged their canoes, and gear, at the Chicago Portage. They followed the Chicago River downstream until they reached Lake Michigan near the location of modern-day Chicago. Father Marquette stayed at the mission of St. Francis Xavier at the southern end of Green Bay, which they reached in August. Jolliet returned to Quebec to relate the news of their discoveries. On his way through the Lachine Rapids, Jolliet’s canoe overturned and his records were lost. His brief narrative, written from memory, is in essential agreement with Marquette’s, the chief account of the journey.
While Hernando de Soto was the first European to make official note of the Mississippi River by discovering its southern entrance in 1541, Jolliet and Marquette were the first to locate its upper reaches and, travel most of its length, about 130 years later. De Soto had named the river Rio del Espiritu Santo but, tribes along its length called it “Mississippi”, meaning “Great River” in the Algonquian languages.
♦ Louis Jolliet (Britannica)
♦ Louis Jolliet (Dictionary of Canadian Biography)
♦ Jacques Marquette (Britannica)
♦ Jacques Marquette (Biography)
♦ The Explorers (Canadian Museum of History)
♦ Archdiocese of Chicago (New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia/James Marquette)
Louis Jolliet & Jacques Marquette: PBS World Explorers
Marquette and Jolliet: The Beginning of the Voyage to the Mississippi
Flashback Friday: Shoshone National Park 1891
One-hundred, thirty-two years ago, today…
[The] Shoshone National Forest is the first federally protected National Forest in the United States and covers nearly 2,500,000 acres in the state of Wyoming. Originally a part of the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve, the forest is managed by the United States Forest Service and was created by an act of Congress, signed into law by U.S. President Benjamin Harrison in 1891. Native Americans have lived in the region for at least 10,000 years and when the region was first explored by European adventurers, forestlands were occupied by several different tribes. Never heavily settled or exploited, the forest has retained most of its wildness. Shoshone National Forest is a part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem […].
The Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains are partly in the northern section of the forest. The Wind River Range is in the southern portion and contains Gannett Peak, the tallest mountain in Wyoming. [The] Continental Divide separates the forest from its neighbor Bridger-Teton National Forest to the west. The eastern boundary includes privately owned property, lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and, the Wind River Indian Reservation, which belongs to the Shoshone and Arapahoe Indians. Custer National Forest along the Montana border is on the northern frontier. The Oregon Trail, the 19th century covered wagon route, passes just south of the forest, where broad and gentle South Pass allowed the migrants to bypass the rugged mountains to the north. The forest is home to the Grizzly bear, Cougar, Moose, tens of thousands of Elk as well as the largest herd of Bighorn sheep in the U.S.
[On] March 3 [of] 1891, Congress enacted, and [President] Harrison signed, the Land Revision Act of 1891. This legislation resulted from a bipartisan desire to initiate reclamation of surplus lands that had been, up to that point, granted from the public domain, for potential settlement or use by railroad syndicates.
The Act reversed previous policy initiatives, such as the Timber Culture Act of 1873, which did not preclude land fraud by wealthy individuals and corporations. The legacy of the General Revision Act of 1891 [Forest Reserve Act/Land Revision Act] is frequently credited as its serving as a catalyst to a series of federal land reform initiatives, notably under President Theodore Roosevelt.
As a side note, when my father was a Freshman at N.C. State University in 1963-1964, he studied Forestry. Prior to his death on August 25, 2022, he still remembered most of the Latin terms for all trees and forest plants.
♦ Shoshone National Forest (Wyoming State Parks)
♦ America’s First National Forest (Forest Service)
♦ Our First National Forest (National Park Service History)
Music Monday: Magnificat 1733
Two hundred, ninety years ago…Johann Sebastian Bach performs a revised version of his Magnificat in D major, BWV 243, ending the mourning period for Augustus II the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.
Johann Sebastian Bach‘s Magnificat, BWV 243, is a musical setting of the biblical canticle Magnificat. It is scored for five vocal parts (two sopranos, alto, tenor and bass) and a Baroque orchestra including trumpets and timpani. It is the first major liturgical composition on a Latin text by Bach. In 1723, after taking up his post as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, Bach set the text of the Magnificat in a twelve movement composition in the key of E-flat major. For a performance at Christmas he inserted four hymns (laudes) related to that feast. This version, including the Christmas interpolations, was given the number 243.1 in the catalogue of Bach’s works.
Likely for the feast of Visitation of 1733 or another feast in or around that year, Bach produced a new version of his Latin Magnificat, without the Christmas hymns…instrumentation of some movements were altered or expanded and, the key changed from E-flat major to D major for performance reasons of the trumpet parts. This version of Bach’s Magnificat is known as BWV 243.2 (previously BWV 243). After publication of both versions in the 19th century, the second became the standard for performance. It is one of Bach’s most popular vocal works.
In Leipzig, the Magnificat was regularly part of Sunday services, sung in German on ordinary Sundays but more elaborately and in Latin on the high holidays (Christmas, Easter and Pentecost) and on the three Marian feasts Annunciation, Visitation and Purification.
Apart from an early setting of the Kyrie, on a mixed Greek and German text (BWV 233a), all of Bach’s known liturgical compositions in Latin were composed during his tenure as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, from 1723 until his death in 1750. Compared to Lutheran practice elsewhere, an uncharacteristic amount of Latin was used in church services in Leipzig. An early account of Bach showing interest in liturgical practices in Leipzig dates from 1714 when he noted down the order of the service on the first Sunday in Advent during a visit to the town.
Bach assumed the position of Thomaskantor on May 30, 1723, the first Sunday after Trinity, performing an ambitious cantata in 14 movements, Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75, followed by a comparable cantata, Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes, BWV 76 the next Sunday.
Wikipedia Summary & History
Military Monday: Bach Mai Hospital Bombing Acknowledged 1973
Fifty years ago, today…
The Pentagon acknowledged for the first time that Bạch Mai Hospital and Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi had been accidentally damaged during December’s Operation Linebacker II bombing raids but, without clarifying if the damage was caused by bombing, falling debris or anti-aircraft weapons.
During Nixon’s Christmas bombing, Operation Linebacker II, on December 22, 1972, American bombs struck the hospital, obliterating the building, […] killing 28 hospital staff members and an unconfirmed number of patients.
On the 22nd, a wing of the Bach Mai Hospital, located in the southern suburbs of Hanoi, was struck by a stick of bombs from a B-52. The US military claimed that the hospital “frequently housed anti-aircraft positions.” The civilian deaths were criticized by the North Vietnamese and U.S. peace activists. The hospital sat one kilometer from the runway of [the] Bach Mai Airfield and a major fuel storage facility was only 180 metres (200 yds) away. While the patients of the hospital wing had been evacuated from the city, 28 doctors, nurses and pharmacists were killed.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed today for the first time reports of damage to the Bach Mai Hospital and Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi during heavy air raids last month over North Vietnam but, he denied that the damage was either massive or intentional. Jerry W. Friedheim, Pentagon spokesman, said at a morning news briefing:
“It appears that some limited accidental damage has occurred to some facilities at Gia Lam Airport and at a hospital the enemy calls Bach Mai. The exact extent of this damage is uncertain, as is its cause. Our information does not square with Hanoi’s propaganda claims of massive destruction at these sites.”
Report of Damage to Hanoi Hospital Confirmed By U.S.
New York Times
January 2, 1973
The True Story of the Christmas Bombing in North Vietnam 1972 (Americong/Roger Canfield/November 11, 2011)
Vietnam Christmas Bombings: 1972 Mutiny of B-52 Crews (The Veteran/VVAW/Summer 1977)
Throwback Thursday: Eastern Airlines Flight 401 1972
Fifty years ago, today…
Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 was a scheduled flight from [New York] JFK to [Miami/Wilcox Field] MIA. Shortly before midnight on December 29, 1972, the Lockheed L-1011-1 TriStar crashed into the Florida Everglades, causing 101 total fatalities. Three of the [four] cockpit crew members, two of the [ten] flight attendants and 96 of the 163 passengers were killed. [T]here were 75 survivors.
Flight 401 departed JFK Airport […] at 9:20pm EST. The flight was routine until 11:32pm EST, when the plane began its approach into Miami International Airport. After lowering the [landing] gear, First Officer Stockstill noticed that the landing gear indicator (nose gear is properly locked) had not illuminated (burned out bulb). [Captain] Loft, who was working the radio during this leg of the flight, told the tower that they would discontinue their approach to their airport and requested to enter a holding pattern. The approach controller cleared the flight to climb to 2,000 feet and then hold west over the Everglades.
Fifty seconds after reaching their assigned altitude, Captain Loft instructed First Officer Stockstill to put the L-1011 on autopilot. For the next 80 seconds, the plane maintained level flight. Then, it dropped 100 feet and, then, again, flew level for two more minutes, after which it began a descent so gradual, it could not be perceived by the crew.
The plane continued to drop, triggering the altitude warning. The CVR did not record any indication that the pilots heard the warning chimes. As Stockstill started another turn [of] 180°, he noticed the discrepancy. The CVR captured the last, confused conversation between Stockstill and Loft. Less than ten seconds later, the plane crashed into the Everglades. ~Vic
Giant Jetliner Goes Down (The Bulletin)
Jet’s Fall Cushioned By Swamp (Reading Eagle)
Accident Investigation Report (Aviation Safety Network)
Borman Praises Survivors’ Calm (The Associated Press)
Memories from my years in Texas. Merry Christmas, everyone. ~Vic
Wayback Wednesday: Challenger Expedition 1872
One hundred and fifty years ago, today…
The Challenger expedition of 1872–1876 was a scientific program that made many discoveries to lay the foundation of oceanography. The expedition was named after the naval vessel that undertook the trip, HMS Challenger.
The expedition, initiated by William Benjamin Carpenter, was placed under the scientific supervision of Sir Charles Wyville Thomson of the University of Edinburgh and Merchiston Castle School, assisted by five other scientists, including Sir John Murray, a secretary-artist and, a photographer. The Royal Society of London obtained the use of Challenger from the Royal Navy and, in 1872, modified the ship for scientific tasks, equipping it with separate laboratories for natural history & chemistry. The expedition, led by Captain Sir George Strong Nares, sailed from Portsmouth, England, on [December 21, 1872]. Other naval officers included Commander John Maclear.
Under the scientific supervision of Thomson himself, the ship traveled approximately 68,890 nautical miles (79,280 miles/127,580 kilometres) surveying and exploring. The result was the Report of the Scientific Results of the Exploring Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–76 which, among many other discoveries, catalogued over 4,000 previously unknown species. John Murray, who supervised the publication, described the report as “the greatest advance in the knowledge of our planet since the celebrated discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.” Challenger sailed close to Antarctica but, not within sight of it. However, it was the first scientific expedition to take pictures of icebergs.
From Deep Sea to Laboratory (The First Explorations of the Deep Sea by H.M.S. Challenger 1872-1876)/ISTE UK Website
Then & Now: The HMS Challenger Expedition & the Mountains in the Sea Expedition/NOAA Ocean Explorer/2003
HMS Challenger Expedition/Natural History Museum UK/2014 (Web Archive)
HMS Challenger/USCD Aquarium/2008 (Web Archive)
Shutterbug Saturday: Land of Oz 4.0
More from my Land of Oz photo collection. Previous posts are here, here & here. It has been over a year since I posted any of these. More to come. ~Vic
Tune Tuesday: Tell Me Pretty Maiden 1902
One hundred & twenty years ago, the #1 song of 1902 was Tell Me Pretty Maiden by Byron G. Harlan, whistler Joe Belmont and the Florodora Girls. According to Tsort, there are almost NO charts from before 1920. I plugged in today’s date on Playback FM and this is what I got. You can peruse Tsort’s Site Generation Page, describing source charts and consolidation. They seem to have their own method for old stuff and, apparently, Playback FM agrees.
Florodora is an Edwardian musical comedy. After its long run in London, it became one of the first successful Broadway musicals of the 20th Century. The book was written by Jimmy Davis, under the pseudonym Owen Hall, the music was by Leslie Stuart with additional songs by Paul Rubens and, the lyrics were by Ernest Boyd-Jones, George Arthurs and Rubens.
The original London production opened in 1899, where it ran for a very successful 455 performances. The New York production, which opened the following year, was even more popular, running for 552 performances. After this, the piece was produced throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. The show was famous for its double sextet and its chorus line of “Florodora Girls“.
It appears that the Harlan & Belmont version, with the Florodora Girls was very, very popular. Second Hand Songs also lists a Frank Stanley as part of the team. UC Santa Barbara lists Frank Banta on piano and calls the group the Edison Sextette.
Flashback Friday: St. Elizabeth’s Flood 1421
Six hundred & one year, ago, today…
The St. Elizabeth’s flood of 1421 was a flooding of the Grote Hollandse Waard, an area in what is now the Netherlands. It takes its name from the feast day of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary which was formerly [November 19th]. It ranks 20th on the list of worst floods in history. During the night of [November 18th-19th] 1421, a heavy storm near the North Sea coast caused the dikes to break in a number of places and the lower-lying polder land was flooded. A number of villages were swallowed by the flood and were lost, causing between 2,000 and 10,000 casualties. The dike breaks and floods caused widespread devastation in Zeeland and Holland.
This flood separated the cities of Geertruidenberg and Dordrecht, which had previously fought against each other during the Hook and Cod (civil) wars. Most of the land remains flooded even since that day.
Most of the area remained flooded for several decades. Reclaimed parts are the island of Dordrecht, the Hoeksche Waard island and north-western North Brabant. Most of the Biesbosch area has been flooded since.
The cause of the flood was a powerful extratropical cyclone. Water from the storm in the North Sea surged up the rivers causing the dikes to overflow and break through. The flood reached a large sea arm between south Holland and Zeeland, destroying the Grote Hollandse Waard.
I tried to find a video about this but, all I got was a creepy AI voice reading what I posted, above. As an interesting addendum, there was a St. Elizabeth’s flood of 1404, on or about November 19, also, affecting Holland, Zeeland and Flanders. History Calendar on Twitter posted about it, too. ~Vic
November 18, 1421 — A seawall at the Zuiderzee dike in the Netherlands breaks, flooding 72 villages and killing about 10,000 people. This event will be known as St Elizabeth's flood.
— History Calendar (@historycalendar) November 18, 2022
♦ Zuiderzee Floods (Britannica/November 11, 2022)
♦ Elizabeth and the Flood (Codart/May 8, 2022)
♦ Katje the Windmill Cat (Atozmom’s BSF Blog/March 1, 2014)
Music Monday: Händel Solo Sonatas 1732
George Frideric Händel was a German-British Baroque composer well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, concerti grossi and organ concertos. Händel received his training in Halle and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712, where he spent the bulk of his career and became a naturalised British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition and by composers of the Italian Baroque. In turn, Händel’s music forms one of the peaks of the “high baroque” style, bringing Italian opera to its highest development, creating the genres of English oratorio and organ concerto and introducing a new style into English church music. He is consistently recognized as one of the greatest composers of his age. Händel started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera. In 1737, he had a physical breakdown, changed direction creatively, addressed the middle class and made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah (1742), he never composed an Italian opera again. Almost blind, he died in 1759, a respected and rich man, and was given a state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Two hundred, ninety years ago, Händel Solo Sonatas was published by John Walsh in 1732. It contains a set of twelve sonatas, for various instruments, composed by George Frideric Händel. The 63 page publication includes the sonatas that are generally known as Händel’s Opus 1. The 1732 edition was mostly reprinted from the plates of an earlier 1730 publication […]. Each sonata displays the melody and bass lines […]. By modern-day standards, the music in the publication has a primitive appearance, with squashed notes and irregular spacings, stems and bar widths […]. Despite the titles in both editions, four of the sonatas in each are for a fourth instrument: the Recorder.
John Walsh Summary
Table List of the 12 Händel Sonatas
List of Händel Solo Sonatas
George Frideric Händel Britannica Biography
George Frideric Händel ~ Biography Channel
I can’t seem to find one video with all of the twelve sonatas, combined, so I will post the first three. ~Vic
Flute Sonata E Minor (HWV 359b)
Recorder Sonata G Minor (HWV 360)
Violin Sonata A Major (HWV 361)
Chris Thomas: Balls of Light or Orbs
A PDF Essay From: The Chris Thomas Files
We have all seen the many thousands of photographs which show the image of a Ball of Light in the finished photograph which were not necessarily visible to the naked eye. There have been numerous interpretations placed upon these BOLs but, what are they in reality?
Most people assume that these are a new phenomenon whereas, there is in fact a written history of sightings going back several hundred years. In the past, these were not called Balls of Light or Orbs but, “swamp lights”, “will o’ the wisp” and “Jack-O-Lanterns”, as well as many other names in local dialects. To understand what this phenomenon is, we need to look at the nature of the Universe, how it is constructed and how it functions.
The Nature of Our Universe
Ever since Sir Isaac Newton had an apple land on his head (figuratively speaking) 400 years ago, science has believed in gravity. It is only in very recent years that they have begun to question the role that gravity plays and even to question whether that gravity exists at all. Certainly, Double Dark Theory (Dark Matter and Dark Energy) presents considerably more questions than it answers with most cosmologists, now, believing that this theory has no validity at all.
As DDT is becoming increasingly rejected, more and more cosmologists are looking towards Black Holes as a way of explaining how the universe holds itself together. However, even with Black Hole Theory, it remains impossible to answer many of the questions. Fortunately, in recent years, some of the more aware scientists are beginning to realise that what holds the universe together is a form of electro-magnetic energy. If it is assumed that electro-magnetic energy holds the universe together, all of the unanswered questions that cosmologists fight over suddenly become answered.
In addition to the workings of the universe, electro-magnetic frequencies also seem to play a major role in life on Earth, especially when it is applied to humans and animals. But, there is another way of looking at electro-magnetic frequencies and that is, instead of electro-magnetic, substitute the word conscious-ness. There is a great deal of debate, in scientific circles, about how large an organism needs to be before it develops consciousness as well as where consciousness is located within the body. The current thinking is that consciousness is located in a region of the brain known as the amygdala. This is a region at the base of the brain and attached to the brain-stem. It would be fair to say that looking at the amygdala to see consciousness is akin to looking at Liverpool hoping to see Britain. The reality is that the scientific view is from the wrong direction.
If we look to more “traditional” sources of knowledge and, particularly the Akashic, what we find is a very different view of reality to that which scientists are currently exploring. Instead of the body becoming large enough for consciousness to develop, it is the consciousness that builds the body. In other words, life begins with consciousness and all else follows. It is the same with our Universe. Our Universe began with a consciousness, a “Universal Soul” and, everything that exists in our Universe is also a soul, or a consciousness. When scientists talk about measuring electro-magnetic frequencies, what they are actually talking about is measuring soul energy.
Gravity does not exist. What holds the Universe together, what holds humans on the Earth and what makes apples fall to the ground, is soul energy, consciousness energy. Everything that exists anywhere is a soul, a consciousness and, it is the interactions between souls which holds everything together and makes everything happen. Without consciousness, soul, nothing would exist and no events would occur.
Our Universe exists because it was Created to exist. A soul, a consciousness, exists who decided to explore the potential It contains within Itself. This Creationery-source asked Itself a question…a question along the lines of “What would happen If…?” In order to answer It’s question, this Source brought our Universe into being and peopled it with other, lesser forms of consciousness that could explore the answer to the Question on the Creator’s behalf. In this way, the Universal “envelope” is a consciousness, each galaxy is a consciousness, each solar system is a consciousness and each star is a consciousness.
In addition, we have free-moving and free-acting souls who can explore the Answers on the Creator’s behalf. These free-moving and free-acting souls take on two forms. The first do not have any physical form or physical density and the Akashic calls them the non-physical races. These souls were Created about 100 million years ago. The second have a physical form and a physical density but, are comprised of energies that fall outside of human perceptions. The Akashic calls these the semi-physical races and they were Created about 30 million years ago.
Both of these groups of races, the non-physical and the semi-physical, started their existence on a home planet but, over the millennia, have spread out throughout our Universe. But, there was another stage of development that was universally decided upon about 60 million years ago and this new development lead directly to the creation of our solar system. For many reasons (see Synthesis), once a suitable body form had been developed on Earth, those souls who came to live here are primarily made up of the non-physical races. In other words, 99.9 percent of the souls who are in human form on Earth are souls who originated with the non-physical races. The other 0.001 percent of the human population is made up of souls who originate from the semi-physical races. There are very many reasons for this division of human souls, which are outside of the scope of this essay but, see the author’s books on the subject.
The Development of Our Solar System
As with all free-moving and free-acting life throughout our Universe, a “home planet” was needed in order for human life to exist, a place where this new “experiment” in a fully physical life-form could inhabit. Throughout our Universe, many billions of solar systems exist. Usually, the solar system is comprised of one soul. This solar system soul is, normally, the solar system sun, or suns, if it is a binary system. All of the planets within this type of solar system are created by the solar system consciousness as well as all of the forms of life that exist on those planets (except for situations where the solar system supports either the non-physical or semi-physical races; in these instances, the souls of the “higher life-forms” are brought into being by the Creator).
With our solar system, the arrangement is quite different. Our solar system is unique. That means what it says. No other solar system is comparable to the one we inhabit. The reason for this is that the sun and each of the planets, in our solar system, are individual consciousnesses in their own right. This collection of souls, who were capable of building planets, was decided upon in order to maximise the potential for bringing “physical” beings to life. Originally, all of the planets in our solar system were inhabited by a huge diversity of life-forms, the likes of which do not exist anywhere else within our Universe. However, about 3.8 million years ago, a solar system-wide disaster occurred and virtually all life was wiped out except for our planet, Earth. The reasons for this solar system-wide disaster fall outside of the scope of this essay but, see The Universal Soul.
To continue reading (it’s six pages), download the PDF version HERE.
[Note: This PDF was originally posted on The Spirit Guides UK website on August 19, 2011.]
Flashback Friday: Alcoholics Anonymous 1935
Eighty-seven years ago, today, Robert Smith drank his last drink, the date marked by AA for its anniversaries.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international mutual aid fellowship dedicated to abstinence based recovery from alcoholism through its spiritually inclined Twelve Step program. Following its Twelve Traditions, AA and autonomous AA groups are self-supporting through the strictly voluntary contributions from members only. The Traditions also establish AA as non-professional, non-denominational and apolitical, with an avowed desire to stop drinking as its sole requirement for membership. Though AA has not endorsed the disease model of alcoholism, to which its program is nonetheless sympathetic, its wider acceptance is partly due to many members independently promulgating it. A recent scientific review shows that by many measures AA does as well or better than other clinical interventions or no treatment. In particular, AA produces better abstinence rates with lower medical costs. As of 2020, having spread to diverse cultures, including geopolitical areas normally resistant to grassroots movements, AA has estimated its worldwide membership to be over two million with 75% of those in the U.S. and Canada.
AA marks 1935 for its founding when Wall Street analyst and newly recovering alcoholic Bill Wilson, then reeling from a failed proxy fight, sought to stay sober by commiserating with detoxing surgeon Bob Smith. After leaving the Oxford Group to form a fellowship of alcoholics only, Wilson and Smith, along with other early members, wrote Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered From Alcoholism, from which AA acquired its name. Published in 1939 and commonly called “the Big Book”, it contains AA’s Twelve Step recovery program. Later editions included the Twelve Traditions, first adopted in 1946 to formalize and unify the fellowship as a “benign anarchy”.