A Short History of Nudism

Nudism has had its ups and downs over history. The early man started nude. Early Olympic Games were performed in the nude. Nude Olympics were put to an end because they were believed to be pagan. Later, the Puritans believed nudity was immoral. The Victorian era also did not accept nudity. Then, during the Renaissance period, nudity became acceptable once again. Some people took naked walks, calling them “air baths.”
 
Nudism became organized in the 20th century beginning in Germany. Around 1929, German immigrants and tourists brought the nudist way of life to America. Health benefits of being nude were touted. By 1931, Ilsley Boone was organizing the American Sunbathing Association (ASA). Clubs were being organized. Magazines and books were being written, in bookstores, and being mailed. Anti-nudist forces fought back and in 1941, Congress reinstated the portion of the Comstock Law that restricted using the USPS to mail “obscene,” “lewd,” “immoral,” or “indecent” publications. They included nudist publications in this. Ilsley Boone fought this and, in 1958, nudist magazines were once again allowed to be mailed using USPS. 
 
In 1980, The Naturist Society (TNS) was formed by Lee Baxandall. The base of this organization came from nudists/naturists who frequented the beaches, hot springs, and public lands. In 1994, ASA changed its name to the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). 
 
There are four research libraries available for people who want to learn more about the history of nudism. The American Nudist Research Library (ANRL) is located at Cypress Cove in Kissimmee, Florida. The AANR-Northwest Nudist Library is at The Willamettans, Inc. in Marcola, Oregon. The Western Nudist Research Library is at Glen Eden Sun Club in Corona, California. The Naturist Education Foundation Research Library is in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The four libraries form the nudist library consortium and share information.
 
We are all a part of the history and the future of nudism. Let’s all make good decisions to further the acceptance and growth of nudism. 

Taken from the AANR Monthly Bulletin, "Across the Board" brings information and thoughts from the Governing Board of AANR to you. The Board values your membership and wants to make sure that it is doing what is right for the members and clubs. The first step is good two-way communication.