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International Bikini Day celebrates skimpy bathing suit's 1946 debut

International Bikini Day celebrates skimpy bathing suit's 1946 debut
Brigitte Bardot sports a bikini at the beach in the early 1960s. International Bikini Day celebrates the day French designer Louis Reard released the two-piece bikini swimsuit on July 5, 1946. UPI File Photo | License Photo

July 5 (UPI) -- International Bikini Day, celebrated annually on July 5, marks the anniversary of the day French designer Louis Reard debuted his two-piece bathing suit in 1946.

The holiday celebrates the anniversary of Reard's bikini first being sold to the public on July 5, 1946. The bathing suit takes its name from Bikini Atoll, the coral reef in the Marshall Islands where the United States began testing nuclear weapons four days before the bathing suit's debut.

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Jacques Heim, another French designer, released a two-piece bathing suit dubbed the "Atom" in 1932, but Reard's bathing suit was considerably smaller and more closely resembles the modern bikini.

Both styles of swimwear were considered controversial and were banned in many places for years. The two-piece bathing suit was later popularized by celebrities including Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe in the 1960s.

Other holidays and observances for July 5, 2022, include Mechanical Pencil Day, National Apple Turnover Day, National Graham Cracker Day, National Workaholics Day and Work Without Your Hands Day.

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