These two stories and letter to the editor made me smile. Nothing like a look back in time to realize how excited people became at the thought of a little skin. Sorry, there were no photos with this story.
I found this story relevant after last month's flap in San Francisco over a proposed ordinance on where and how nudists in the city could sit. http://abcn.ws/najf3j
Councilman lashes nudists
By the Tri-City Herald staff
Published on February 1, 1952 A Richland Councilman today lashed at attempts to organize a nudist colony in the Tri-Cities and said such a group could cause "lasting damage" to the area.
Ray R. King said that despite high sounding appeal to the public on the basis of health and emotional well-being, a nudist group is potentially dangerous to any community.
"Whether the organization recognizes it or not," King said, "the primary reason for their attitudes is to practice exhibitionism, a departure from the normal sexual aim."
He added that the group is not content with practicing this behavior among themselves.
"They actively attempt to enlist and encourage others to do the same," King said. "The whole attitude of such a group is one of defiance and rebellion against conventional cultural practices. They try to obtain respectability and a sanction of their activities by making high-sounding appeals to the public."
A spokesman for Pioneer Trails Associates announced Wednesday that the Atomic Energy Commission had approved formation of a Richland group. It is affiliated with regional and national nudist groups. The spokesman said the Richland group numbers about 20 members and is actively looking for a regional site along the Yakima or Columbia rivers in the Tri-City area.
"The nudist group claims that they screen their members as carefully as does the AEC for Q clearance," King said. "I seriously doubt this. Even if they had the necessary organization to carry out such an investigation, these people are not qualified to investigate personality traits of persons desiring to join.
"There are many insecure individuals and others with abnormal traits that could easily slip by the screening."
King said he does not wish to infer that the club would be a scene of "orgies." However, he pointed out it could be a contact for persons with "abnormal tendencies" who could meet elsewhere.
Rather than relieve tensions, participation in nudist groups increases tension, king charged. He said nudity does not "rescue from the tyranny of clothing" as a spokesman of the nudist group claimed. King said nudists still "have to live in a society where the majority of people behave in conventional ways."
All person in the Tri-City area should realize the seriousness of any action on their part which would approve or give sanction to such neurotic behavior fostered by the nudists, King said.
"It would be far better for these people to recognize their neurotic behavior and try to develop emotional stability," King said. "Then they could adjust to prevailing customs of the more healthy members of the community."
New fuel heaped on nudist's fire
Published February 5, 1952
By the Tri-City Herald staff
Richland's "Battle of the Nudists" raged on today.
Ray R. King, councilman who attacked announced plans of organizing a nudist colony in the Tri-City area, said he has received widespread support in the community in telephone calls and letters.
King, who is on the midnight to 8 a.m. shift at Hanford works, said he finally had to muffle his telephone in order to get some sleep after his attack on the plans of Pioneer Trail Associates, nudist group, to organize in Richland.
"The telephone rang day and night as people from all walks of life expressed their opinions on organization of a nudist colony here," he said. "Of all the calls, only a few disagreed with me and favored nudists here."
Meanwhile, a spokesman of Pioneer Trails submitted a letter to the editor of the Tri-City Herald which he said was written by the wife of a veteran employee at Hanford works. Members of the nudist group do not wish their names made public to "avoid the tyranny" of public opinion, he said. The spokesman said the youngest child of the writer was born at Kadlec Hospital seven years ago and "you will go far before finding a finer family of five."
The letter said that although her husband had tried for years to "convert" her to nudism, "it was the first hour at the Northwest convention that really convinced me...To my surprise I found I was having the best tine in years and met more interesting and congenial folk than I have had the pleasure of meeting in any other society...The closer one gets to natural living, the further one gets from the cares of this troubled world.
"No one should ever criticize nudist activities until he or she has gone to a camp and acquired first hand information," the letter said, and added that the camp also had a beneficial effect on her children. "Our children now have the sense of security and confidence that once was clouded with doubt and confusion."
King today released contents of a letter he received signed by Richland residents which commended his fight against the nudists.
"We want to heartily approve what you have said against this nudist movement," the letter said. "We agree 100 per cent. Keep up the fight to keep them out of this area. A recent doctor's article states that sun rays are just as beneficial to health and can adequately do its work without complete exposure of the skin.
"A nudist camp would be a disgrace to this area. We are surprised that consideration would even be made. Certainly , as you suggested, such people cannot be healthy-minded or at least not in their right minds to desire such freedom, if they call it that.
"We are so happy that you spoke out so fearlessly on this issue."
Voice of the People
Published on February 5, 1952
After reading your front page story of Friday, February 1, 1952, "Council man Lashes Nudists," I should like to put in my rebuttal to Councilman Ray R. King.
First I want to make it clear that I do not belong to any nudist organization. The only time I practice nudism is in the bathtub, behind double locked door and windows blacked out and fully secured, but I have known some highly respected families that belonged to nudist organizations.
Mr. King points out that a nudist organization could be used as contact for persons with abnormal tendencies. It could be but why bother when addresses of such persons can be found in lots of public restrooms.
I doubt if any of the many fully clothed persons afflicted with so-called social diseases would be admitted to any nudist group, and how does Mr. King know that participating in nudist group increases tension?
711 Market, Prosser
Age 73 and married.