The first national exposure for Alcoholics Anonymous came
with the April 25, 1939, "We The People"
broadcast. Gabriel Heatter's radio program was a
tremendously popular program that was tuned in by millions
of people. Morgan R., the AA member who spoke on the
program, was expected to launch sales of the newly published
book, Alcoholics Anonymous. How Morgan was prepared for his
three-minute talk, and the resulting book sales are
described in the A.A.W.S. publication Alcoholics Anonymous
Comes of Age on pages 174-175.
The man beside me now has had one of the most gripping and
dramatic experiences I've ever heard. I'm not going to tell
you his name. And when you hear what he has to say I think
you'll understand why. But after checking the facts the
Listeners Committee of "We The People" decided to
grant him time because they feel that if one person is
helped by hearing his story, then WE THE PEOPLE will have
done a real service. Alright, sir.
Six months ago I got out of an insane asylum. I'd been sent
there because I was drinking myself to death. But the
doctors said they could do nothing for me. And only four
years ago I was making 20,000 dollars a year. I was married
to a swell girl and had a young son. But I worked hard and
like lots of my friends - I used to drink to relax. Only
they knew when to stop. I didn't. And pretty soon, I drank
myself out of my job. I promised my wife I'd straighten out.
But I couldn't. Finally she took the baby and left me.
The next year was like a nightmare. I was penniless. I went
out on the streets, panhandled money for liquor. Every time
I sobered up - I swore not to touch another drop. But if I
went a few hours without a drink, I'd begin to cry like a
baby, and tremble all over. One day after I left the asylum
I met a friend of mine. He took me to the home of one of his
friends. A bunch of men were sitting around, smoking cigars,
telling jokes, having a great time. But I noticed they
weren't drinking. When Tom told me they'd all been in the
same boat as I was - I couldn't believe him. But he said,
"See that fellow? He's a doctor. Drank himself out of
his practice. Then he straightened out. Now he's head of a
big hospital." Another big strapping fellow was a
grocery clerk. Another the vice president of a big
corporation. They got together five years ago. Called
themselves Alcoholics Anonymous. And they'd worked out a
method of recovery. One of their most important secrets was
- helping the other fellow. Once they began to follow it the
method proved successful and helped others get on their feet
- they found they could stay away from liquor.
Gradually, those men helped me back to life. I stopped
drinking. Found courage to face life once again. Today I've
got a job, and I'm going to climb back to success. Recently
we wrote a book called "Alcoholics Anonymous." It
tells precisely how we all came back from a living death.
Working on that book made me realize how much other people
had suffered, how they'd gone through the same thing I did.
That's why I wanted to come on this program. I wanted to
tell people who are going through that torment - if they
sincerely want to they can come back. Take their place in
society once again!
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