As every schoolboy has learned in history class, the day after the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, their wives all donned the first bikinis — made by Betsy Ross — and hit the beach to celebrate. Thus was born our most sacred U.S. holiday, National Bikini Day.
Actually it was on this day in 1946 that Parisian engineer Louis Réard invented the bikini — naming it for the Bikini Atoll, where the U.S. was testing the Atom Bomb. Meanwhile, French fashion designer Jacques Heim was also working feverishly on his version of the first two-piece swim technology, only he called his the Atome (this is all true). I guess it was a bikini arms race.
Of course neither were anywhere near being the first — they had bikinis as far back as ancient Rome.
But in the U.S. the bikini is officially 70 years old today.
As soon as it first appeared, the Catholic Church declared the bikini sinful. And it was considered a bit too risque even in the U.S. for a decade or so. But it caught on in the 1960s, mostly thanks to James Bond and Elvis Presley movies. And now, 70 years later, it’s a treasured institution.
— iHeartRadio (@iHeartRadio) July 5, 2016
Here are the top 11 bikini photos we found on social media today. Never has so little accomplished so much. Salute.