Few folks understand that swimsuits, as we understand them today, are a comparatively recent notion. The notion of

wearing special clothes to swim in is hardly a century old.
160. Skinnydipping, in the local river or farm pond, is well-documented as an important historical part of
our national heritage.
follow 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 programs (for the interest of girls)
were instituted in the mid 1970s.231
162. Today, there are still public locations where nudity is, by local tradition or custom, the approved
Nudity is the norm, for instance, in natural primitive hot springs and on nude beaches; and, practically
universally, for models in art classes.
163. The few officially approved http://nudism-life.com in the U.S. (for example, Rooster Rock State Park,
Oregon) and Canada (Wreck Beach, British Columbia)–and many of the unofficial seashores as well–have existed for
decades without critical problems.232
164. Many highly respected people, historic and contemporary, have espoused and/or participated in
Naturism to some amount.
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 claimed in favor of social nudity.236
President John Quincy Adams was a routine skinnydipper. Based on reports, “each morning he got up
before dawn, walked across the White House lawn to the Potomac River, took off his clothes and swam in the nude.
Then he returned to the White House to get breakfast, read the Bible and run the state.” 237 President Theodore
Roosevelt often swam nude in Rock Creek Park in Washington, once skinny-dipping together 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 people
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 utilize a clothing-optional steam room, where President Bush was said by
Newsweek to hang out sans towel with his pals. Representatives also sunbathed nude on the Speaker’s Veranda until
one day in 1973 when Rep. Patricia Schroeder wandered into the party accidentally.241
Billionaire insurance man John D. MacArthur frequently went skinnydipping, and left a shore to the state
of Florida, intending that a portion be designated clothing-optional (a wish which has been spurned); word has it that
MacArthur went skinnydipping with Walt Disney at this beach 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 earthquake measuring system,
was a life -long nudist and Naturist.244 Celebrity Lynn Redgrave and her family practice societal nudism.245 Actresses
Bridget Fonda and Brigitte Bardot enjoy social nudity.246 The late actor Gary Merrill advocated nudism.247
Christy Brinkley openly confesses 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 philosophy, in
one of his first novels.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 conditions.
Involuntary stripping to nakedness is defeat or poverty, but willed nakedness might be a perfect kind.” 251 Nudity is
Additionally consistent with the Christian utopian concept of paradise, in which, according to biblical accounts, clothing isn’t
166. Nudity has often been used, historically, as a sign of protest or rebellion against oppression.
For instance, the early Quakers, in mid-17th century England, regularly 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