On this date in 1935 Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith met for the first time in Akron, Ohio. Both men struggled with alcoholism and had tried various approaches to control it. Together they founded Alcoholics Anonymous which emphasized the helplessness of the alcoholic rather than the sinfulness of drink. They developed a twelve step program that paired members with sponsors who were themselves alcoholics. With the publishing of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939, referred to as The Big Book by members, the organization grew from 100 members to over 2 million today. Members often used the phrase “friend of Bill W.” to identify themselves as members to others.