| History of the "Bikini"
1946: Bikini officially invented by engineer Louis Reard in Paris, and named after the Pacific Atolls where the first H-Bomb was tested. Interstingly enough though, Reard's idea came from the work of Jacques Heim who had 2 months earlier created the "Atome" (named for its size) and donned it the world's "smallest bathing suit." But Reard, 'split the atome' and created the world's newest smallest bathing suit. Americans describe it as a "two-piece bathing suit that reveals everything about a girl except her mother's maiden name." It took another 15 years for the bikini to become a hit in America.
1947: The United States tries to compete with a suit that reveals a glimpse of the upper thighs through two circular portholes. It is not a success.
1951: Bikinis are banned from beauty pageants after the Miss World Contest.
1957: Bikini-clad Brigitte Bardot frolics in "And God Created Woman," creating a hot market for the swimwear.
1960: Brian Hyland sings "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," lyrics triggering a bikini-buying spree among Americans. Finally, the bikini has caught on.
1963: Beach Party, starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, launches a wave of films that turn the bikini into a pop-culture symbol. That summer, Newsweek asks, "Will it be topless bathing suits in five years?"
1964: Designer Rudi Gernreich cuts out half the bikini and leaves women topless. The "bikini" sells more than 3,000 suits in less than a season in Europe. Defending his creation, Gernreich says, "Sex is in the person, not in what she puts on."
1965: The 170th Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam Adopts the Name "Bikini's", with the first flight platoon called "Bikini Blue," the second flight platoon called "Bikini Red" and the armed helicopter platoon named "Buccaneers" or "Bucs."
1966: The 170th Assault Helicopter Company paints Custom Graphics on the nose of their helicopters of the blonde "Annie Fannie" of Playboy fame wearing either a Red or a Blue Bikini depending upon the flight platoon, while the Gunships of the Buccaneers had hand painted skull and crossbones.
1966: "One Million Years B.C.," catapults cavegirl Raquel Welch to stardom as she wears her bikini made of fur.
1970s: Rio and St. Tropez produce the Tanga suit -- also called the Thong, the string bikini. Later revitalized in 2000.
1971: The end the 170th Assault Helicopter Company comes as the Vietnam War winds down, the unit ceased to exist on March 16, 1971 but all who where members of the 170th are still proud to known as "Bikini's"
1979: Bo Derek, although not a bikini, parades up the beach in a beautiful swimsuit and becomes an instant sex-symbol.
1983: Carrie Fisher, as Princess Leia, wears an ornate version of the bikini in "Return of the Jedi." This is later discussed on "Friends" as the ultimate male fantasy.
1990s: Swimwear in general is given an increased focus with the TV show Baywatch, which proved bikini or not, it's still fun watching Pamela Anderson run.
1993: The "sports bikini" becomes big as Volleyball queen Gabrielle Reece wears it in absolute beauty.
1996: Demi Moore wears a bikini on "Late Night With David Letterman." Program soon beats competition.
2000: Sisqo's Thong Song brings the Thong back in full force. Tha-thong-tha-thong-thong-thong.