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Dawn of Hope


Regional Interest

A 30-minute history of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in Akron, Ohio, in 1935. AA had its beginnings as the outcome of a meeting between Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob S., an Akron surgeon. Prior to their meeting, Bill had gotten sober and had maintained his recovery by working with other alcoholics. Meanwhile, Dr. Bob had yet to achieve sobriety. Responding to Bill’s convincing ideas, he soon got sober, never to drink again. The founding spark of AA had been struck.

Jack Gieck was an engineer and past-president of the Canal Society of Ohio and founder of Cinemark, Inc., a producer of technical and historical films including the award-winning video series Ohio’s Canal Era. He is the author of the popular A Photo Album of Ohio’s Canal Era, 1825–1913 (Kent State University Press, 1992) and Early Akron’s Industrial Valley: A History of the Cascade Locks (Kent State University Press, 2008).