Dark Times

All information here is based on collections of documents, public records and Internet web sites assembled for historical context only. It is presumed accurate from the articles reviewed but does not represent any official position or statement of anyone associated with this web site or the National Park Service.

1917 State of Florida passes law 800.03 which prohibits indecent exposure of sexual organs, but the law is not applied at nude beaches.

1975 Canaveral National Seashore is designated as a federal preserve

1976 Nudists continue to frequent Playalinda and Apollo without any issue from law enforcement

1977 Florida Supreme Court rules against naked Jacksonville dancer but states ruling “is not meant to suggest that nudity or exposure in all circumstances” would violate Florida law

1980’s There are 23 nude beaches in Florida

Florida District Court of Appeals establishes that state ban on nudity applies only when nudism is accompanied by “lewd or lascivious” exhibitions

1984 District Court of Appeals ruled Harry John Goodmakers was wrongly convicted of indecent exposure on a Collier Beach because he was “asleep or unconscious, motionless, on his back, and not in a state of arousal”.

1985 Brevard County Sheriff Jake Miller starts citing nudists at Playalinda under state law 800.03. Sam Jackson, one of the nudists cited, appealed the citation was found innocent in a trial by jury.

1990 Superintendent Wendell Simpson assumes leadership post at Canaveral National Seashore; establishes “his owner personal vendetta” according to Central Florida’s Vice President Marvin Frandsen

1992 Feb – First record of five nudist arrested at Haulover Beach FL by Dade Police and charged under Florida Statute 800.3. The charges were soon dismissed and declared “improper charges” because the nudity was not “in a vulgar or indecent manner”

1992 April 15 – Following the dismissal of the above charges, Dade Police Legal Bureau issues legal note 94-2 “the mere act of nude in public is not a violation of Section 800.3… [absent] lewd or lascivious behavior…”

1993 Canaveral National Seashore Superintendent Wendell Simpson’s rangers cite 104 nudists under a state disorderly conduct law during 1993.

1993 November – Federal Judge overturns all charges against the 104 nudists arrested under the state disorderly conduct law citing they were guilty of “public nudity – no more, no less” and that no federal law or park regulation prohibits folks from disrobing

1994 Randy Ball is elected to FL state legislator (R-Titusville). Ball has a Masters in Religion from Liberty Baptist University Theological Seminary. His father-in-law is pastor of Temple Baptist in Titusville. He later writes on official stationery that he is motivated by the fact that “This country runs and operates on the Judeo-Christian ethic that comes out of the Bible”.

State Legislator (R-Titusville) Randy Ball and family are at Playalinda and Ball claims a naked man stands in front of them

Superintendent Wendell Simpson & State Rep Randy Ball (R-Titusville) set to eliminate Brevard County nude beaches

1995 May - Brevard County Commissioners pass a county ordinance prohibiting public nudity “for the purpose of protecting societal order and morality and suppressing the adverse secondary effect that pubic nudity generates". Official message of this regulation is that “it is illegal to be naked anywhere on the beach”

1995 June – Federal authorities erect signs near north end of Playalinda Beach advising beachgoers that they might encounter nude sunbathers in the area.

1995 September – Naturists Unyielding Demand Equality (NUDE) holds a protest of the county law. Those refusing to get dressed are arrested by sheriff’s deputies.

1996 Spring – Bryan Morris forms Americans Fighting Anti-Nudity protest group

1996 Several members of Bryan Morris’ Americans Fighting Anti-Nudity group are arrested at Playalinda as they protested anti-nudity actions of Superintendent Wendell Simpson

1996 March – State Representative Randy Ball (R-Titusvillle) introduces county beach bill at state House Committee on Crime and Punishment (which he chairs) intent on banning nudity at all 10 state national preserves and empowering federal rangers (currently barred from enforcing local laws) to act on the state’s behalf

1996 March - State Representative Randy Ball (R-Titusvillle) seeks support for State legislative anti-nudity bill from American Family Association and Christian Coalition

1996 March – Ball’s own Committee on Crime and Punishment committee kills the proposal to ban nudity at all 10 national preserves

1996 March – Brevard County Sheriff Phil Williams unveils “Operation Playalinda”. Seven Deputies, one helicopter and five all-terrain vehicles arrest 37 bare beachgoers from Florida and five other states.

1996 April – Three additional nudists ticketed

1996 April – Titusville City Council approves third resolution backing the crackdown, overruling the 1995 resolution that recognizes that this issue is a federal matter

1996 April – Titusville City Council urges Volusia County to outlaw nudity on Apollo Beach, just north of Playalinda because nudists are retreating there to avoid arrest

1996 May – Five additional nudists ticketed including three people in swimwear “considered too risqué”

1996 May 20 – Appeals court refused to hear appeals of lawsuit against county for arresting five nudists

1996 May – Marianne Cervasio coordinates protest with international Naturist Human Rights Watch calling for boycotts of Brevard County and other “communities that codify hate into laws”

1996 July – Marianne Cervasio jailed for protesting Sheriff anti-nude enforcement at Playalinda Beach

1996 July – Naturists stage a play in the nude and are arrested by sheriff’s deputies.

1996 Aug – Bryan Morris & Central Fla Naturists decide to fight back

1996 November – County Judge dismisses charges against all nudists arrested in 1996 under the new ordinance but states he might have done otherwise if signs warning beachcombers about the presence of nude sunbathers had been removed.

1996 November – Signs stating, “beyond this point you may encounter nude sunbathers” are removed by the Parks Department

1996 November - Superintendent Wendell Simpson declares the federal government “will not designate an area [for nude sunbathing] at this time”

1997 In phone interview Superintendent Wendell Simpson threatens to hang up when questioned about his religious alliance related with State Representative Randy Ball (R-Titusvillle) and others at local Baptist Churches, dismissing those who say he is driving the anti-nudist movement. “I wish I did have that kind of authority”.

1997 March - State Representative Randy Ball (R-Titusvillle) has hearings on third bill proposing to outlaw nudity at Playlinda. One week later, his own committee defeats the proposal.

1997 March – Brevard County Sheriff Phil Williams continues “Operation Playalinda” ticketing 40 nudists and arresting three.

1997 April – Florida Naturists establish first North American office of international Naturist Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group continuing the tourist boycotts of 28 Florida counties.

1997 Jun 1 – Seven members of Central Florida Naturists are arrested for “holding a sign without government permission" near the front gate of Canaveral National Seashore’s main entrance. The Naturists were eventually forced to pay a $1 fine for their illegal protest

1997 July 4 - Several members of Bryan Morris’ Americans Fighting Anti-Nudity plan to protest and be arrested again, saying “We really want to put [Superintendent Wendell] Simpson in the spotlight” and that “The problem at Playalinda is Wendell Simpson”.

1997 July - Superintendent Wendell Simpson is replaced as superintendent of Canaveral National Seashores by Superintendent Bob Newkirk. While announced as a “promotion”, others see it as “a deserved rebuke for his intentional mishandling of the nude recreation issue”.

1997 July – Statement of US Congressman Dave Weldon (R-Palm Bay) “Just because he isn’t promoting the Clinton Administration’s political agenda regarding nudity, he [Simpson]” is being forced out of his job.

1997 July – US Congressman Dave Weldon (R-Palm Bay) introduce amendment to the Department of Interior appropriations bill to bar the federal placement of signs or official federal designation of Canaveral National Seashore as a clothing-optional area. It continues to today and reads:

Sec. 325. None of the funds made available in this or any other Act for any fiscal year may be used to designate or to post any sign designating, any port of Canaveral National Seashore in Brevard County, Florida, as a clothing-optional area or as an area in which public nudity is permitted, if such designation would be contrary to county ordinance.

1998 May – CFN organizes semi-nude protest, which was heavily attended by Sheriff deputies with video cameras

1998 Brevard County continues to ticket nude or thong suited bathers

1999 November - Canaveral National Seashores Superintendent Bob Newkirk proposes “beach closure” to all naked activities

2000 May 25 – Eleventh Court of Appeals struck down the “free speech permit” scheme used by the Parks Service as the basis for arresting the Central Florida Naturists in 1997 for protesting in front of the Playalinda entrance

2000 Early Spring – Canaveral Superintendent Bob Newkirk proposes an “accommodation” for naturist use of a portion of Canaveral National Seashore but is prohibited from officially designating any part of the beach as clothing optional based on the Department of Interior funding restriction place there by US Congressman Dave Weldon (R-Palm Bay) .

2000 National Action Committee, Central Florida Naturists and Canaveral National Seashore negotiate and execute an agreement for nude use of the Apollo Beach portion (first) with future application to the Playalinda Beach later. Central Florida Naturists refused to sign the agreement because it restricts nudity only to the beach south of Apollo Parking lot 5.

2000 Nude sun bathing is once again permitted at both Apollo and Playlinda beaches on the Canaveral National Seashore. The Brevard County prohibition against nudity is still on the books but not enforced in National Parks. Apollo and Playalinda beaches continue to be patrolled by National Parks Services staff who will not arrest nude sun bathers unless they perform lewd or lascivious behavior (sexual activities)

2011 Jan –Former State Representative Randy Ball (R-Titusvillle) declares he is “still arch-right-wing as ever” and is leaving the Republican Party. He was Gov. Charlie Crist’s top criminal justice advisor but says he left before Gov Rick Scott asked him to resign.

2000 to Today - National Parks Staff patrol all beach areas and are always polite and friendly to nude sunbathers. On several occasions these staff have confirmed that the official NPS position remains that they "will not designate" any area as clothing optional or otherwise. Officially this means that sunbathers can be nude on any of the beaches, but they have advised nudists to be sensitive to groups of clothed visitors.

Beach areas historically used by nude sun bathers have been the Parking Lot 13 of Playalinda and Parking Lot 5 of Apollo. Because of parking limitations, any warm weekend will see Playalinda parking lots 10, 11,12, and 13 filling the beaches with nude bathers and lots 4 and 5 at Apollo.

2017 Dec - after months of discussion, a small group of original Central Florida Naturists leadership and some new blood met in Florida and decided to restart the organization. It was decided first steps were to relaunch the website on a new URL that is more friendly to current technology trends.

2018 Jan - The web URL is born - web site migration is completed - many internal organization steps to follow.

2018 Feb - Memebership tracking infrastructure is set up and has started receiving newsletter and membership requests. A Central Florida Naturists Twitter account @CFNaturists is set up and achieves 250 followers in its first three weeks! 

2018 Mar 15 - Target date for first newletter.

2018 Apr - Target for first organization efforts with those registering for membership and to be volunteers.

Canaveral National Seashore
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Central Florida Naturists