Few people understand that swimsuits, as we know them today, are a relatively recent concept. The idea of

wearing special clothing to swim in is scarcely a century old.
160. Skinnydipping, in the neighborhood river or farm pond, is well-documented as an important historical part of
our national heritage.
Skinnydipping and outdoor nudity appear in the writings of Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, William Allen
White, Lincoln Steffens, William Styron, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Herman Melville, James Michener, and Henry
Miller, among many others, and in the depictions of Norman Rockwell, Rockwell Kent, Andrew Wyeth, Thomas
Eakins, John Sloane, and Grant Wood.
161. Many YMCA, college, and high school male-only pools or swimming classes were historically
“swimsuit-optional” or bare-only until federally-mandated “equal access” fit systems (for the interest of women)
were instituted in the mid 1970s.231
162. Now, there are still public places where nudity is, by local tradition or custom, the accepted
practice.
Nudity is the standard, for instance, in natural simple hot springs as well as on nude beaches; and, almost
universally, for models in art classes.
163. The few formally sanctioned nude beaches in the U.S. (for http://nudismsite.com/tube/stripped-naked-had-a-few-glasses-of-wine-and/ , Rooster Rock State Park,
Oregon) and Canada (Wreck Beach, British Columbia)–and a lot of the unofficial shores as well–have existed for
decades without essential issues.232
164. Many highly respected folks, historic and modern, have espoused and/or participated in
Naturism to some level.
Benjamin Franklin took daily nude “atmosphere baths.” 233 So did Henry David Thoreau, who was also a frequent
skinnydipper.234 Alexander Graham Bell was a skinnydipper and bare sunbather.235 George Bernard Shaw, Walt
Whitman, Eugene O’Neill, and painter Thomas Eakins argued in favor of social nudity.236
President John Quincy Adams was a regular skinnydipper. According to reports, “each morning he got up
before daybreak, walked across the White House lawn to the Potomac River, took off his clothes and swam in the nude.
He then returned to the White House to have breakfast, read the Bible and run the country.” 237 President Theodore
Roosevelt often swam naked in Rock Creek Park in Washington, once skinny-dipping with the French diplomat,
Jules Jusserand.238 President Lyndon Johnson occasionally swam bare with guests in the white house pool,
including evangelist Billy Graham. 239 Senator Edward Kennedy has been photographed skinnydipping at public
Shores in Florida. At the White House of his brother, John F. Kennedy, nudity had been common around the White
House pool.240 Many U.S. representatives appreciate nude recreation, albeit segregated: U.S. Senate members may use the
Russell Senate Office Building Pool in the nude (the few female Senators make appointments to ensure there will not
be men on hand), and Representatives may use http://nudists-young.org/contri/my-husband-and-i-went-fishing-down-by-the-river-naked/ -optional steam room, where President Bush was said by
Newsweek to hang out sans towel with his pals. Congressmen also sunbathed naked on the Speaker’s Porch until
one day in 1973 when Rep. Patricia Schroeder wandered into the gathering accidentally.241
Billionaire insurance man John D. MacArthur often went skinnydipping, and left a seashore to the state

of Florida, meaning that a piece be designated clothing-optional (a wish that’s been spurned); word has it that
MacArthur went skinnydipping with Walt Disney at this shore in the late 1960s.242 World Bank president and
former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, and American Civil Liberties Union founder Roger Baldwin,
both have been regular skinnydippers.243 Charles F. Richter, the co-inventor of the quake measuring system,
was a life -long nudist and Naturist.244 Actress Lynn Redgrave and her family practice social nudism.245 Celebrities
Bridget Fonda and Brigitte Bardot appreciate social nudity.246 The late actor Gary Merrill recommended nudism.247
Christy Brinkley openly admits to frequenting nude beaches,248 and Christian singer Amy Grant goes topfree on
foreign beaches while on tour abroad.249 Even the late Dr. Seuss published approval of a nudist doctrine, in
one of his first books.250
165. Historically, a great many writers and artists have seen Naturism, or something close to it, to be
Portion of the utopian ideal.
R. Martin writes: “Anthropologically, nakedness would seem to be the greatest and worst of states.
Involuntary stripping to nakedness is defeat or poverty, but willed nakedness could be a perfect kind.” 251 Nudity is
also consistent with the Christian utopian concept of paradise, in which, according to biblical accounts, garments is not
Crucial.
166. Nudity has often been used, historically, as a symbol of protest or rebellion against oppression.
For example, the early Quakers, in mid-17th century England, often used nudity as an element of protest.
Historian Elbert Russell notes that “A number of men and women were arrested and penalized for public indecency

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