Aboard the USS Fall River (CA-131), Bikini Atoll, 5 Jul 1946 – Given the serious nature of the atomic bomb tests at Bikini, there were no Fourth of July fireworks. However, the radio room was abuzz with news about a different type of explosion.
On 5 July in Paris, the two-piece bikini swimsuit was worn for the first time in public. A 19-year old dancer from the Casino de Paris, Micheline Bernardini, modeled the swimsuit at the Molitor pool. Ms Bernardini received more than 50,000 fan letters. The news reports said the brief swimsuit was named after the Bikini atomic bomb tests because the swimsuit caused a cultural explosion.
Excerpted from Operation Crossroads, Lest We Forget! An Eyewitness Account, Bikini Atomic Bomb Tests 1946 by William L. McGee with Sandra V. McGee.