History of the Bikini


Bikini Atoll

Evacuation of Bikini Islanders

7 March 1946 - 1970

(Teaiwa 89)

25 nuclear bombs tested on Bikini Atoll

July 1946 - 1958

(Teaiwa 87)

including the most powerful bombs ever tested by the U.S. Army (UNESCO “Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site”)

Final settlement of Bikinians to Kili


(Niedenthal 28)

Explosion of the first H-bomb


(UNESCO “Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site”)

Atomic Energy Commission deems Bikini free of radiation


“There’s virtually no radiation left and we can find no discernible effect on either plant or animal life”
(Niedenthal 32)

U.S. Dept of the Interior questions safety from radiation

June 1975

Officials stated “Bikini appears to be hotter or questionable as to safety” (Niedenthal 32)

Bikinians File Lawsuit with U.S. Government

October 1975 - 1985

(Niedenthal 32-33).
U.S. did not agree to fund a cleanup until 1985 (“Bikini” Encyclopædia Britannica)

Re-evacuation of Bikini Islanders

1978 - 1996

(“Bikini” Encyclopædia Britannica)

U.S. Funded Cleanup on Nuclear Waste

1991 - 1998

(“Bikini” Encyclopædia Britannica)

Bikini Atoll named on World Heritage List

1 August 2010

UNESCO and World Heritage Committee list Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site on its World Heritage List ("World Heritage Committee")

Bikini the Fashion

Debut of the Bikini Swimsuit


French designer Jacques Heim debuts the "atome" and Swiss engineer Louis Reard debuts the "bikini" in 1946. Each name alludes to the explosive affect such revealing attire has. French model Michele Bernardini wore the first bikini at a Parisian fashion show (Webber-Hanchett).

Brigitte Bardot stars in "The Girl in the Bikini"


(Peril 182)

Hollywood "Beach Party" Movie Craze

1959 - 1969

Beach volleyball, surfing, and bikinis become icons of adolescence, developing sexuality, and popularity (Peril 182-183)

"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" Tops Billboard Hot 100

July 1960 - Aug 1960


Sports Illustrated publishes annual Swimsuit Edition

1964 - 2013

The first SI swimsuit edition featured model Babette March wearing a bikini. Making the cover of swimsuit edition is a now mark of modeling success in the fashion world. (Webber-Hanchett). Busty young model Kate Upton made the cover for 2013, which launched her career into stardom.

MTV's Spring Break

22 March 1986 - 2013

The first MTV's Spring Break was held March 22-26, 1986 in Daytona Beach, Florida. The cable network features suntanned, scantily clad coeds frolicking and partying on the beach and at concerts (Allen).