First A.A. meeting in Louisiana

Angola Prison in 1942

Angola Prison in Louisiana

Angola Prison in Louisiana

From: Tom Hickcox
Date: Aug. 2, 2013

The program for this Silver Anniversary celebration indicates that the first Louisiana A.A. meeting was held in the Angola Prison in 1942. This would have been the first A.A. group in the state, since I believe the generally accepted date for the first meeting in New Orleans is spring 1943.*

AA group at Angola Prison in Louisiana 1942-1967


*Bob Pearson's unpublished history of A.A. says that "In June 1942, Irwin wrote that there were three sober A.A.'s in the city: Albert B., Bruce L. and Alec J. By the end of that year, Steve C. had become sober and was looking for alcoholics to help. He was joined in February 1943 by Wally H., an A.A. from the Chicago group, and Irwin M. gave them encouragement and put them in touch with his contacts. The first organized A.A. meeting in New Orleans was held in March 1943 in the boardroom of the Chamber of Commerce. There were six members present, and an ad in the newspaper was expected to bring more inquiries. In May, Wally, the secretary, wrote on a letterhead with the group address that ten members were attending their Tuesday meetings and that Noel E. and Sam T. were doing a particularly good job. In September he reported progress in cooperating with city jails and hospitals. In October, there were 14 members; in November, 17. In December, Lefty H. moved to New Orleans and 'gave the group a shot in the arm.' And in January 1944, Bill and Lois W. paid the new group a visit."

Angola Prison in Louisiana

Angola Prison in Louisiana