Timeline of non-sexual social nudity
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- 170,000 BP Humans first wore clothing, a date suggested by evidence based on Lice DNA which shows when the clothing louse first began to diverge genetically from the human head louse.
- 720 BC: According to one legend, an athlete, Orsippos of Megara who discards his loincloth wins his race at the Olympic Games. A variation of the legend asserts that the loincloth accidentally falls off a runner at the Olympics who trips on it, strikes his head, and dies. So for reasons of either improved athletic performance or for safety, ancient Greek Olympic athletes compete naked.
- From c. 650 BC in Sparta, both women and men occasionally went nude in certain festivals and exercise.
- 1st century AD: Historian Diodorus Siculus records that the Celts commonly fought naked in battle. Nudity is mentioned several times in the New Testament, although none of the examples give it the sexual meaning it carries today. For example, refusal to wear clothes could be a sign of insanity during this period. Nakedness was also used as a symbol of poverty or vulnerability. There are a few New Testament references to actual nudity, such as (Mark 14:52) in which a young man runs away naked from the Garden of Gethsemane, and (John 21:7) where Peter is described as naked while he is fishing. Some say that the term means semi-naked, arguing that it is unlikely that a Jewish person would go completely unclothed in public, although others argue that fishermen in the Sea of Galilee did actually work naked.
- 100 AD to 18th century – the Adamites, were adherents of an Early Christian sect that flourished in North Africa in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries, but knew later revivals. They practiced "holy nudism", claiming that its members were re-established in Adam and Eve's state of original innocence.
- 201–1500 AD: The first known liturgy of baptism, recorded by Saint Hippolytus of Rome in the early 3rd century, insists on complete nudity for all participants, even down to the removal of jewellery and hair fastenings. Baptism was later segregated by sex, as suggested by a scene depicted on a 5th-century lead font, but still conducted on an unclothed participant. Christian groups, including the Adamites, Carpocrations, Aquarii, and Marcosians all practiced social nudity.
- 393 AD: Students in ancient Greece exercised and received instruction naked and athletes competed naked. This tradition ended in 393 AD, when the Christian Emperor Theodosius I bans the Olympic Games because he considers them Pagan.
- c. 1050 AD: Leofric, Earl of Mercia, imposed a heavy tax burden on the citizens of Coventry, England, to support his grandiose public works. According to legend, his wife Godgyfu begged him to reduce the tax, and he told her that she had to ride naked through the city's market before he would do it. Godgyfu, remembered as Lady Godiva, accepted the challenge.
- In Kamakura era (1185–1333) Japan, religious bathing was provided to the public free of charge, with no concept of gender segregation. After the collapse of free services, a for-pay system emerged which later evolved to become the modern day sentō.
- 1840s: Nude bathing was common on the beaches of the United Kingdom by this decade.
- 1868: Approximate year of the introduction of the swimming-costume. Most swimming, if not all, was done naked up to this point, because wearing clothing of any sort was extremely cumbersome and thus dangerous to the swimmer.
- 1870s: The diary of Rev. Robert Francis Kilvert, documents the transition in Victorian England from the acceptance of nude bathing to the mandatory use of swimming-costumes. In an 1874 entry, Kilvert notes being brought "a pair of very short red and white striped drawers to cover my nakedness" after he had finished bathing at Seaton, and being so "unaccustomed to such things and customs" that he had "set at nought the conventionalities of the place".
- 1874: While surfing developed across Polynesia as a nude activity, it remained so only until 19th century missionaries forced the natives into covering themselves. This dress code, however, was often ignored; a British engraving from 1874 shows a set of waves being ridden by nearly a dozen Hawaiian surfers, male and female, all of them naked.
- 1891 Earliest known naturist club in the world. Founded by Charles Edward Gordon Crawford, District and Sessions Judge for the Bombay Civil Service at Thana, India.
- 1900: The Cult of the Nude by German sociologist Heinrich Pudor, and German nude public bathing is seen as starting the nudist movement.
- 1903: Paul Zimmerman establishes first naturist resort near Hamburg, Germany.
- 1903-03 to 1932: Several Freedomite (Svobodniki or Sons of Freedom) Doukhobors engaged in nude protests throughout Canadian history. In May 1903, they went on a nude protest-march and were persecuted. In 1932 the British Columbian government allotted Piers Island, located in the Pacific Ocean near Vancouver, where close to 900 people were convicted to 3 years imprisonment for their nude protests.
- c. 1905: The English Gymnosophist Society was founded.
- 1922: The Down With Shame movement in the Soviet Union holds nude marches and "Evenings of the Denuded Body" intended to dispel earlier, "bourgeois" morality.
- 1926: Societe Internationale de Gymnosophie founded by Kenne D'Mongeot in France
- 1927: The New Gymnosophy first edition published. Author: Dr. Maurice Parmelee Publisher: F.H. Hitchcock NY
- 1927: Fiveacres Country Club founded in Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire. The UK's oldest naturist club on its original site.
- 1929: The American League for Physical Culture was formed.
- 1930: American Gymnosophical Association formed as an outgrowth of the American League for Physical Culture which shortly thereafter leased Rock Lodge Club, Stockholm, New Jersey which still operates as a member owned co-operative nudist club
- 1931: Héliopolis, Europe's first town dedicated to naturism, founded on the Île du Levant, a French island off the coast of the Riviera, near Toulon, by Doctors Gaston and André Durville.
- 1932: American Gymnosophical Association has substantial foundation at Rock Lodge Club in New Jersey and was founded as early as 1932 by Dr. Maurice Parmelee.
- 1932-05-15: Sky Farm, the first permanent nudist community in the United States, was established in Liberty Corner, near Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The AGA establishes itself at Rock Lodge Club in nearby Stockholm, New Jersey the same year. Both clubs are still active.
- 1933: In Germany, Nazi edict banned many nudist organizations; but nudists re-formed as "sports" groups and were re-legalized.
- 1934: Men begin going bare-chested on crowded Long Island, New York, public beaches, despite the threat of arrest. At the time, full-body swimming attire was mandatory.
- 1936: Male bare-chestedness is made legal in the United States.
- 1945: Gerald Gardner, founder of Wicca, buys Fiveacres Country Club, and establishes the Bricket Wood coven in its grounds. This marks the beginning of "Skyclad" ritual nudity within Wicca.
- Late 1950s: Michigan Supreme Court ruled that people had a right to practice nudism within private resorts.
- 1953: International Naturist Federation formed at the CHM Montalivet in France.
- 1957: Arkansas passed a law to make it illegal to "advocate, demonstrate, or promote nudism." The law applies to both public spaces and private property.
- 1958: United States Supreme Court rules naturist magazines acceptable under Comstock laws, which define and regulate social morals.
- 1964: Fashion designer Rudi Gernreich produced the topless swimsuit or monokini.
- 1967:Paul Bindrim conducted the first nude psychotherapy group in California.
- 1968: John Lennon and Yoko Ono release experimental album Two Virgins with a nude cover.
- 1969: 300 individuals participate in a massive naked "wade-in" at a Danish beach. As a result, the vast majority of Denmark's beaches become clothing-optional.
- 1974: A year of increased streaking around college campuses in the USA.
- 1974: Robert Opel appears naked in Los Angeles City Council Chamber.
- 1975–02: Australia's first legal nude beach is created when the section of Maslin Beach south of Adelaide is proclaimed legal for both clothed and naked bathing.
- 1976-1981: The Nambassa festivals in New Zealand, where thousands enjoy the festivals in little or no clothing.
- 1976: The Down to Earth Co-operative Society holds the first ConFest at Cotter River, Australian Capital Territory, with the aim of "transforming society".
- 1976-07-28: A nude beach picnic and photo shoot is organized during Memorial Day weekend in front of the World Trade Center at "a temporarily barren, enormous construction sandfill directly on the Hudson River near Wall Street". [source: N 19.3]
- 1976-08-07: The first National Nude Beach Day is designated. [source N 19.3]
- 1980–81: The Naturist Society is formed in the USA. [source N 19.3]
- Beachfront USA established a beach nudism organizing and advocacy forum in Los Angeles, CA, USA[when?]
- 1981: The Nude & Natural magazine is established by TNS founder Lee Baxandall. Originally named Clothed with the Sun.
- 1981-07-30: Stelarc performance piece, "Seaside Suspension: Event for Wind & Waves", body suspended over water at Jogashima, Miura.
- 1984-07-21: Stelarc performance piece, "Street Suspension", body suspended over the Mo David gallery in New York City.
- 1985: The University of Michigan's "Naked Mile" is first organized—a run by streakers marking the last day of classes in winter. It was started by a handful of students and later grew to around a thousand participants annually. The event was cancelled in 2003 after concerted action by police and the University of Michigan administration. [source: Paul Rapoport Dec 2003]
- 1985-06-28: Stelarc performance piece "City Suspension", body suspended over the city of Copenhagen.
- 1986: First year of the clothing optional Burning Man festival, at Baker Beach in San Francisco. Larry Harvey and Jerry James construct a wooden figure and burn it, in celebration of the Summer Solstice. Participants: 20
- 1989-07-15: 14 women go bare-chested outside the Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, to protest the inequality of dress between genders. [source N 12.2]
- 1991: Gwen Jacob goes topless in Guelph, Ontario, Canada on a hot day. She was eventually acquitted of public indecency in 1996 by the Ontario Court of Appeal on the basis that the act of being topless is not in itself a sexual act or indecent. While this decision was only binding within Ontario, it is considered highly influential, and has been referenced and upheld several times, including in other jurisdictions.
- 1992: Photographer Spencer Tunick starts documenting the live nude figure in public.
- 1992: September: First annual Nude & Breast Freedom Parade in Berkeley, California.
- 1992: Peter Cleall addresses the Brighton Solidarity Network while naked.
- 1992–96: Painted naked cyclists at the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade in Seattle.
- 1992-07-18: Four go topfree for protest at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. [source N 12.2]
- 1992-07-27: About 20 topfree women protest in Brattleboro, Vermont. [source N 12.2]
- 1992-09: Andrew Martinez attends a class—Russian history—without clothes at University of California - Berkeley. [source N 12.2]
- 1992-10-11: X-plicit Players go nude or topfree from Smokey Joe's Cafe on Shattuck Ave. to Cafe Milano on Telegraph to support NY topfree victory. [source N 12.2]
- 1994–2002: Photographer "Harvey" photographs nudes in public urban environments. [source: Paul Rapoport]
- 1995: The Burning Man festival has since moved to Black Rock Desert, Nevada, with 4,000 participants. The camp becomes the most populous settlement (albeit temporary) in Nevada's Pershing County, and is known as "Black Rock City".
- 1996-12-06: Three women walk naked up Mount Warning in Mount Warning National Park, Australia, which is recorded in the opening sequence of the Synetech video Naked Celebrations.
- 1997: Writer and performance artist, David Robert Lewis disrobes in front of the South African National Gallery in a naked art ritual and public nudity event entitled decontamination.
- 1997-04-06: The first demonstration in favour of Australian Belongil Beach becoming a nude beach.
- Summer 1997: Vincent Bethell starts writing letters to The Home Office and his Member of Parliament questioning the law regarding public nakedness.
- 1998: The Freedom to be Yourself is founded by Vincent Bethell in England.
- Early 1998: Two men and two women walked naked up Mt. Warning, as done similarly in 1996.
- 1998-06-06: Vincent Bethell stages his very first protest in Piccadilly Circus.
- 1998-08-24: Evangeline Godron swims bare-chested in the Wascana pool (not for the first time) in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. [source: TERA]
- 1999-04 – Annual event "April Fool's Naked Run" in Portland, Oregon. Approximately 30 participants. [source: Terri Sue Webb]
- 1999-07-07: Photographer Henning von Berg organizes the world’s first and only-ever male nude photo shoot inside a parliament building as a social-political statement. The group photo series NAKED BERLIN – The Liberal Capital features six naked men inside the historical Reichstag building and at nine other famous landmarks in Berlin.
- 1999-07-28: First protest by The Freedom to be Yourself at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
- 1999-10: Ohio State University female Rugby-players pose bare-chested for a photo at the Lincoln Memorial and are punished harshly by the University. [source N 19.3]
- 1999-10-03: Naked anti-nuclear weapons protesters march down Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. [source N 19.3]
- Late 1999: Terri Sue Webb begins riding bare-chested for Critical Mass. [source: Terri Sue Webb]
- 2001-07-01: The Freedom to be Yourself protest in London, England on July 1, 2001
- Late 2001: Daniel Johnson and Mark Storey from the Seattle area begin to outline goals for a local group in Seattle, which at first is known as the Body Freedom Co-op and in late 2001 incorporates as the nonprofit Body Freedom Collaborative.
- 2003-12-06: The Durango Herald of Colorado reports that fifteen "mostly naked bike riders marked the 26th birthday of a friend with a streak through downtown Durango".
- 2004-06-12: World Naked Bike Ride (1st year)
- 2005-02: Photographer Henning von Berg documents a group of naked women in Downtown Sydney, Australia. He takes photos in front of major touristic highlights, including the Commonwealth Bank, Hyde Park, Queen Victoria's statue, the National Treasure Bank, a leading TV broadcast studio, the iconic Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge.
- 2005-07-01: The first naked crossing of the European Alps.
- 2006-07-29: Daniel Johnson runs the entire length of the 5K UnitedHealthcare Torchlight Run at Seafair—wearing only bodypaint, socks, and shoes—in an attempt to encourage others to participate in a creatively adorned manner and to jumpstart a related event called the Jaybird Run.
- 2008 FEMEN is a political protest group in Ukraine, started by Hanna Hutsol.
- 2009-07-11: AANR coordinates a skinny dipping event at 3:00PM throughout North America. The event is recorded by The Guinness Book of World Records as "largest number of people simultaneously skinny-dipping".
- 2012-11-20: San Francisco bans and criminalizes public nudity without a police-issued parade permit. However, female toplessness is still allowed throughout the city. See Social nudity in San Francisco.
- Harvard Primal Scream at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (once each semester)
- Rainbow Family of Living Light's annual Gathering of the Tribes for World Peace and Healing
- Solstice Cyclists, Seattle, June
- World Naked Bike Ride
- Christian naturism: Timeline of requisite dress in Western civilization
- Culture jamming
- Direct action
- Flash mob
- Smart mob
- German Australian
- Study of lice DNA shows humans first wore clothes 170,000 years ago, physorg, January 6, 2011 by Danielle Torrent
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- "The Olympic Games". The History Channel. Retrieved 2006-08-08.
- http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/lycurgus.html Plutarch, the Life of Lygurgus
- Delaney, Frank (1986). The Celts. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 31. ISBN 0-316-17993-0.
Some have iron breastplates of chain mail while others fight naked!, and for them the breastplate given by nature suffices.
- Luke 8:27
- 2 Corinthians 11:27
- Matthew 25:36
- Neil, James. (1913). Everyday Life in the Holy Land.
- The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus
- Thomas, Charles. "The Walesby Tank". Christianity in Roman Britain to AD 500. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- "Lady Godiva: The naked truth". BBC News. 2001-08-24. Retrieved 2006-08-11.
- (2003). Travel Naturally, (49).
- Cec Cinder. (1998). The Nudist Idea. Riverside, California: Ultraviolet Press.
- Whiting, Sam (2003-10-05). "Maverick Matt Warshaw turns his passion into the definitive work on surfing". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2006-08-08.
- "A History of Naturism - Timeline". British Naturism. 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Siegelbaum, Lewis H. Soviet state and society between revolutions, 1918-1929. ISBN 978-0-521-36987-9.
- Hamburg, Gary. Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism. The Teaching Company. ISBN 978-0-10-225024-4.
- Russia: Down With Shame, Time Magazine, September 22, 1924.
- Gymnosophy publication by American Gymnosophical Society Yale University Library
- Adventures in Many Lands-Autobiographical Memoirs of Maurice Parmelee,Yale University Library
- "The History of Fiveacres". Fiveacres Country Club.
- AGA statement-History,Purposeful Development and Philosophical Outlook-by Katherine & Herman Soshinsky-circa 1950,collection of Rock Lodge Club.
- International Nude-Land Dec 1934 page30
- Nudism in Nazi Germany: Indecent Behaviour or Physical Culture for the Well-being of the Nation
Authors: Krüger A.; Krüger F.; Treptau S.
Source: The International Journal of the History of Sport, Volume 19, Number 4, December 01, 2002, pp. 33-54(22)
Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
- "Arkansas Law § 5-68-204 Violates First Amendment Rights". UnconstitutionalArkansas.org.
- PychCentral Nude psychotherpapy history by Marggarita Tartakovsky[dead link]
- Nude & Natural 18.4, more info in Cec. Cinder's The Nudist Idea.
- DOWN TO EARTH CO-OP. The ConFest People
- The Burning Man Project
- "Judgment C12668, R. vs. Jacob". Province of Ontario Court of Appeal. 1996-12-09. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
- Charles MacFarland of Synetech Video, e-mail from Dec 2003
- NAKED BERLIN – The Liberal Capital
- Naked birthday celebrants elude Durango police
- Montreal Mirror.
- Article by Richard Foley. Archived December 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Jaybird Run
- World Record Skinny Dipping
- Wollan, Malia (November 20, 2012). "San Francisco Officials Approve a Ban on Public Nudity". The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
- Histoire du naturisme at Nateuropa.org -(In French). Google translation[dead link]. Accessed December 2006
Wight, Fred H. Manners and Customs of Bible Lands. Chicago: Moody Press. 1983