History of nudism
Genetic studies of the human body louse, which requires clothes to survive, suggests that humans started wearing garments 72,000 years ago +/- 42,000 years. This estimate matches that of the first appearance of physical evidence of clothing-making tools. The species Homo sapiens itself has existed for 200,000 or more years, so the 'natural' condition of humans is nude.
Informal nudism has always been practiced. Ancient cultures (the Greeks and the Romans for example) sometimes had quite different attitudes toward the unclothed human body then is common today. In fact, the word "gymnasium" comes from the Greek word "gymnos," meaning "nude," because athletics in Greece was routinely practiced naked by its participants. In many cases, nudity was related to working; the Christian Gospels mention a time when the Apostle Peter, who was a fisherman, had to put his clothes on to meet Jesus.
Objections against being nude are often religiously motivated. Some peoples have started wearing clothes only after missionaries argued that that is more civilized. However, there are many devout nudists who attend services regularly and argue that they do not need shed their morals with their clothes.
The first known organized club for nudists, Freilichtpark (Free-Light Park), was opened near Hamburg in 1903. The nudist movement gained prominence in Germany in the 1920s, but was suppressed during the Nazi Gleichschaltung after Adolf Hitler came to power. Social nudism in the form of private clubs and campgrounds first appeared in the United States in the 1930s. In Canada it first appeared in British Columbia about 1939 and in Ontario nine years later.
Major nudist organizations
Worldwide: International Naturist Federation/Federation Naturiste Internationale (INF/FNI) with member regional organizations in 30 countries.
Canada: the Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) and La Fédération Québécoise de Naturisme (FQN) are the two national nudist organizations.
Netherlands: has the Naturisten Federatie Nederland (NFN)
Spain: has the Federación Española de Naturismo (FEN)
United Kingdom: the national organisation is British Naturism, formerly known as CCBN (Central Council for British Naturism).
United States: the American Association of Nude Recreation (AANR) and The Naturist Society (TNS) are the two major nudist organizations.
Public outdoor nudist areas
- Vienna, Donauinsel   (artificial island in the Danube quite close to the city centre)
- Bredene, tram stop Bredene Renbaan (Hippodroom): sandy beach (the only nude beach of the country, since 2001).