Happy 66th Birthday, Bikini!

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While two-piece swimwear had been around since the early 20th Century, the bikini was officially introduced July 5, 1946. The world? Never the same after that.

We can all thank a Frenchman named Louis Reard, whose idea was to fashion a garment, using as little fabric as possible, that could still be legally worn in public.

As our gallery of celebrity bikini photos shows, his dream lives on to this day.

Early Bikini

A French sunbather tries on the bikini in the mid-1940s.

The rest, as they say, is history. Today, 66 years later, his invention is so indoctrinated into the very fabric of our culture that we even have the bikini onesie.

Other July 5 birthdays: Megan Rapinoe (27), Eva Green (32), Huey Lewis (62) and Jersey Shore's Pauly D (32), who surely appreciates sharing his with the bikini.

Here are some classic bikinis through the years. Well, the last couple of years, because unlike the marvelous two-piece, THG is still in its relative infancy:

Nadya Suleman Bikini Photo
Kate Upton in a Bikini
Jenelle Evans Bikini Photo
Katharine McPhee Bikini Pic
Rihanna Bikini Photograph
Jenni Farley Bikini Photo
Rachel Uchitel in a Bikini
Hot Britney Spears Bikini Photo
Kaley Cuoco Bikini Pic
Rocking a Bikini
Lindsay Lohan Nipples
Kendall Jenner Twit Pic
Kris Jenner Bikini Pic
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