Apr 28, 2008

Ben Franklin a Nudist? Omigod!

Frugal Ben Says: This is enough to to make us stop channeling him. NOT!
Most nude vacationers say that what they enjoy most is liberation from the typical pretenses of society. “When you don’t have any clothes on, you don’t know if someone’s a judge or a doctor, or a lawyer or a mechanic,” said Larry Massa. “You are what you are.”

Nude recreation, of course, goes back at least to the ancient Greeks, who competed in the Olympics sans clothing, and later, in the United States, both Benjamin Franklin and Henry David Thoreau lauded the benefits of nude nature walks, or “air baths.”

But it wasn’t until the dawn of the 20th century when nudism became organized in America, according to the American Association for Nude Recreation. Kurt Barthel, a German immigrant, is acknowledged as the founder of American nudism. On Labor Day of 1929 he led a small group of individuals to picnic in the buff in upstate New York and organized the first official nudist club, called the American League for Physical Culture, where nudists paid dues to gather to swim, socialize and relax in the nude.

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