Saturday, November 13, 2010
Anne Royall and the Nude President
A few centuries ago, the President of the United States of America did not have a security detail. He could slip out of the White House and do as he pleased. And it wasn't much of a problem until President Lincoln was murdered in 1865.
President John Quincy Adams was well know for one habit. He liked to swim nude everyday in the Potomac River. No big deal back then, right?
Anne Royall was a journalist. However, she was not treated well by most of the public. Who wanted a female journalist in the early 19th Century?
However, she scored a major success when she intruded on the morning swim of the President:
The Internet Public Library notes:
President Adams regularly swam nude in the Potomac River. Anne Royall, the first American professional journalist, knew of Adams' 5 A.M. swims. After being refused interviews with the president time after time, she went to the river, gathered his clothes and sat on them until she had her interview. Before this, no female had interviewed a president.
This appeared to be a sound approach. Ms. Royall got her wish. It is hard to imagine today but it is a part of presidential history.