100 Reasons to Love America in 2021

From The Rock and Dolly Parton to the COVID-19 vaccines, we have a lot to be grateful for this year

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The Rock

dwyane johnson
Peter Yang

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson covers PEOPLE's 2021 Issue of 100 Reasons to Love America, opening up about life as a girl dad, his career and his potential run for political office. "I'm a lucky guy to be in the position I'm in," he shares. "Around every corner, if there's something that I can do to create an opportunity for somebody to work, take care of their own family, live their dream — that's the kind of stuff that matters."

Read on to see nine more reasons why we're loving America right now. And to read the full list (and hear more from The Rock), pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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COVID-19 Vaccines

covid vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Before 2020, the fastest vaccine ever developed was for mumps — and that took four years. Yet researchers developed immunization against COVID in less than one year. One time-saving step: mass-producing the shots before clinical trials were completed. "The speed was not at all at the sacrifice of safety," Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "The speed was the reflection of extraordinary advances in the science of vaccine platform technology."

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Dolly Parton

dolly parton
Dolly parton/Twitter

The music legend donated $1 million to help fund COVID vaccine research at Vanderbilt University — and sang about getting vaccinated to the tune of her hit song "Jolene" after a friend there, Dr. Naji Abumrad, gave her the shot.

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Our Ability to Pivot

texas rangers game
Jeffrey McWhorter/AP/Shutterstock

Across the country restaurants are thriving again after months of offering only takeout and delivery, retailers are opening their doors after moving their businesses online, and ballparks like Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas (shown here), are back in business. As the pandemic raged, stadiums did their part to contribute to the fight against COVID, offering up their acreage — as well as their expertise in traffic flow and crowd control — to function first as testing centers and later as vaccination sites. Now, with COVID cases slowing and vaccines widely available, arenas are again welcoming fans to big games like this one pitting the Texas Rangers against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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The 4th of July

fourth of july
istockphoto/Getty

Independence Day takes on new meaning as we celebrate freedom from COVID. To keep up the momentum, President Biden hopes more people will roll up their sleeves to reach his goal of 70 percent of adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4. Bring on the barbecues, fireworks — and hugs.

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America's Mission to Mars

nasa rover
Nasa/Getty

NASA's Perseverance rover landed on Feb. 18 for a 687-day stay. So far it has found no signs of life but determined that wind and water have eroded some of the rocks, and it has released a device that can produce oxygen to prepare for human occupation and a helicopter to perform test flights on the planet.

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Oprah Winfrey

oprah
Steve Jennings/Getty

Shortly before ending her talk show, in January 2011 she launched her network, which has brought acclaimed shows like Queen Sugar and The Legacy of Black Wall Street. And this year she demonstrated the art of the compassionate interview with can't-miss sit-downs with people like Prince Harry and Elliot Page that informed the world.

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The First Gay Captain America

captain america

To mark the superhero's 80th anniversary, Marvel Comics is handing the mantle to an LGBTQ teen who "stands for the oppressed and the forgotten."

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The Great Outdoors

oso flaco lake
istockphoto/Getty

Now that the country has opened up, people can't wait to get out and go places. Top travel destinations include beach towns, mountains and national parks, according to search data compiled by Airbnb. Call it a vaccination vacation, taken to celebrate protection against COVID.

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Amanda Gorman

amanda gorman
Patrick Semasky/Getty

The 23-year-old Harvard grad and the first National Youth Poet Laureate exudes so much style and intelligence that she made the covers of both Vogue and Time after delivering her Inaugural poem "The Hill We Climb." Raised by a single mother, she overcame a speech disorder. "I spent a lifetime thinking about the power of language, and what it feels like when that power is withheld from you," she told PEOPLE this year. She dreams of getting back on that Inaugural stage — as a newly elected president. Said Oprah Winfrey: "I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise."

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NPR's 50th Annviersary

NPR
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

Powered by "Founding Mothers" including Cokie Roberts and Nina Totenberg, the network became "the gold standard in journalism," says former All Things Considered host Michele Norris.

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Nia Dennis

nia dennis
Kyusung Gong/AFP/Shutterstock

A viral sensation with floor routines inspired by Beyoncé, the UCLA gymnast hopes for a career in entertainment. "The amount of opportunity … almost feels endless," she said.

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Zillow Gone Wild Instagram

100 reasons to love america 2021

The addictive, carefully curated account spotlights the weirder side of real estate, like a toilet in the kitchen, a house shaped like a mushroom, or a mansion with a potato shed.

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Waffles + Mochi

waffles and mochi
ADAM ROSE/NETFLIX

A Netflix food and travel series for kids as seen through the eyes of two cheerful puppets who work in a grocery store owned by Michelle Obama? The New Yorker calls the show, from the Obamas' production company, "pure joy."

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Little Island Park

100 reasons to love america 2021
Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Just as the pandemic began to wind down, this $260 million, 2.4-acre floating park rising from the Hudson River in New York City opened to the public. Funded entirely by Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, it boasts a 687-seat amphitheater, a plaza with concessions and amazing views. "The paths have so many twists," Diller told The Wall Street Journal. "Every time you turn, you're surprised."

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Bad Bunny

bad bunny
Taylor Hill/Getty

The Puerto Rican rapper is Spotify's most streamed pop star in the world. With his colorful clothes and painted nails, he has redefined masculinity in a genre known for its machismo and is always ahead of the trends. "His IQ for music is just astronomical," his manager Noah Assad told The Guardian. "He sees things in music … six months or a year before anyone else."

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Crowd-sourced Ratatouille the Musical

ratatoullie the tiktok musical

Created during quarantine by TikTok users, the production sold $1 million in tickets with proceeds going to the Actors Fund.

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Andra Day

BET Arrivals Andra Day
Andra Day. Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

A star is born. Scripts have been pouring in for the singer and songwriter since her stunning acting debut in The United States vs. Billie Holiday led to a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination. Though she may have been destined for the role (born Cassandra Batie, she took the stage name Day in honor of Holiday), she is in awe of her new star status. "I'm blown away," Day, who lives with her mother and two cousins, told PEOPLE. "And disoriented in the best way, but grateful."

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Summer Camp

summer camp
Getty

Kids can finally head back to these idyllic places for first kisses, dirty socks and finding their people.

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Crispy Chicken Sandwich Wars

mcdonalds crispy chicken sandwich
MCdonalds

Seventeen months after Popeyes introduced its version, McDonald's added three varieties, and sales exploded. The more the merrier.

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Gender Neutral Potato Head

potato head
Hasbro

Hasbro is following the science. Potatoes have both male and female flowers and are self-pollinating.

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Tabitha Brown

tabitha brown/instagram
Tabitha Brown/Instagram

The influencer amassed nearly 5 million TikTok followers with her vegan recipes, cooking hacks and motivational videos — and a role on The Chi.

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The Smithsonian

smithsonian
Ron BLunt

The world's largest museum is celebrating its 175th anniversary with a new immersive experience titled "Futures" at the Arts and Industries Building.

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Matthew McConaughey

matthew mcconaughey
Dan HImbrechts/Shutterstock

Oscar, check. Bestselling memoir, check. What's next for the dad of three? Perhaps governor of Texas: "I have a new chapter for myself, personally in my life. I believe it is in some sort of leadership role," he told CNBC's Carl Quintanilla, admitting that he's mulling a run to lead his beloved home state. "I'm actually trying to look at the idea and give it serious consideration."

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Uncle Nearest Whiskey

uncle nearest whiskey
Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey

Owned by a Black female entrepreneur and named after a formerly enslaved man who trained Jack Daniel, the Tennessee brand has been named one of the world's top 5 whiskeys.

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Rugrats Reboot

rugrats
NIckelodeon/Paramount +

Fans of the Nickelodeon show, which ran for 15 years beginning in 1991, can watch the new version with rugrats of their own.

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The Woman Who Found an Apartment Behind Her Mirror

samantha hartsoe
Samantha Hartsoe/TikTok

Samantha Hartsoe traced a draft to a mirror over her bathroom sink and discovered a hole leading to a three-bedroom apartment. Alas, it was uninhabitable, but she gave every tiny-apartment dweller hope.

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MTV's 40th Anniversary

MTV

A new era in television began on Aug. 1, 1981, when MTV aired the Buggles' hit "Video Killed the Radio Star." Videos later gave way to reality programming like the Real World and Jersey Shore.

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Erin & Ben Napier

ben and erin napier
HGTV

HGTV's Home Town hosts made Fortune's 2021 list of World's 50 Greatest Leaders for revitalizing Laurel, Mississippi, one house at a time. "If no one tells the story of Laurel, then no one hears the story," said Erin, who gave birth to the couple's second child in May, the same month they launched their new show Home Town Takeover, in Wetumpka, Alabama.

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Barbie's Comeback

barbie
Mattel, Inc

The iconic toy spent a few years in cultural exile because of her impossible-to-attain figure, but the brand expanded its line to be more inclusive — adding dolls of Helen Keller and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, among others — and now Margot Robbie is starring as Barbie in a movie she's also producing; Greta Gerwig signed on to direct.

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Bo Burnham

bo burnham
Netflix

Filled with humor and despair, his brilliant Netflix special Inside, filmed in isolation over the course of the pandemic, nails the struggles shared by many.

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Clubhouse

clubhouse
Christoph Dernbach/Picture Alliance/Getty

The invitation-only social media app lets groups of people interact in real-time — and, because it's audio-only, never get caught with their pants down.

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Yo-Yo Ma

yo yo ma
Berkshire community college/facebook

After the famed cellist received his second dose of the COVID vaccine in Pittsfield, Mass., he broke out his cello and played for volunteers during his 15-minute wait time.

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Chess

best of tv 2020 - the queens gambit
Charlie Gray/Netflix

Thanks to the popularity of The Queen's Gambit, the centuries-old game is experiencing a revival, notably among women.

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Fire Pits

firepit
istockphoto/getty

Sales heated up when we all stayed home and became determined to make use of outdoor space, even as temps dropped.

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Siblings or Dating? Instagram

blings or dating

You have to guess from pictures posted, and your mind will be blown.

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Bowen Yang

bowen yang
Will Heath/NBC/Getty

He's carved out a niche on Saturday Night Live playing characters who are original and queer and leave the audience wanting more, like the iceberg that sunk the Titanic, right. ("First of all, you came to where I live and you hit me!") He's going to be one of the greats.

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Tulsa's Gathering Place

tulsa gatherine place
Shane Bevel PHotography

The 100-acre riverfront public park, bursting with attractions, has made many lists of best places to visit in America. What's more, it's a beacon of inclusivity in a city known for its 1921 race massacre.

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Sitting Bernie Meme

bernie meme

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders captured the imagination of the Internet when he was photographed sitting on a folding chair at President Biden's Inauguration, all bundled up. Immediately Sanders and his enormous mittens started popping up everywhere: on a bench next to Forrest Gump; alongside Deadpool; riding a New York City subway; on the moon. "I was just sitting there trying to keep warm," Sanders told Seth Meyers. But he quickly embraced the moment, selling meme merchandise that raised $1.8 million for charitable organizations in Vermont.

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Hot Springs National Park 100th Anniversary

hot springs national park in arkansas
Getty

Known as the American Spa, the Arkansas territory became a national park in 1921 to preserve the 47 hot springs that come out of the Hot Springs Mountain.

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Olivia Rodrigo

olivia rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo. JMEnternational/Getty

Another Disney star rises to the top. Rodrigo's raw, emotional music captures the feelings of a generation of fans who have made the 18-year-old the breakout singer of 2021.

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Missouri Statehood Bicentennial

st louis arch
Getty

Happy 200th, Show Me State!

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Darnella Frazier

darnella frazer

She witnessed George Floyd's murder and, at just 17, had the wisdom to videotape it — leading to the conviction of Derek Chauvin and sparking a global movement for racial justice.

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The Photography of Gray Malin

gray malin
Photographs by © Gray Malin, available for purchase at graymalin.com

Aerial views of remote locations and beautiful beaches are hallmarks of the L.A.-based travel photographer's pictures, and during the pandemic people scooped them up. "My work sits at the center of escapism and home décor — both of which were having a moment last year with everyone stuck at home," he says. (Malin was too, and he turned his focus to his own backyard, shooting a series on the Hollywood sign.) Now he's happy to be back on the road to places like Hawaii, where he took these pictures when the state reopened, and hopes his photos "reminded people of the vacation they cannot wait to take once they are able to travel again," he says.

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Alan S. Kim

8-Year-Old Alan Kim on Minari Golden Globe Win
Jimmy Kimmel Live

The 9-year-old star became an awards season darling when he cried during his acceptance speech at the Critics Choice Awards for Best Young Actor/Actress in Minari. Afterward, he says, he celebrated with "a pizza party, and then we also got chicken." He already has his next role lined up in Latchkey Kids, and luckily for him, he won't have too much trouble memorizing his lines: "I just go to sleep, and then, when I wake up, I memorized them all," he says. No wonder then that when he grows up he doesn't want to do "anything else than being an actor."

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The Friends Reunion

friends reunion
Terence Patrick

It finally happened, and it was spectacular.

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Jennifer Doudna

Dr. Jennifer Doudna
Anastasila Sapon/The New York Times/Redux

For her work in simplifying CRISPR genome editing — a technique that could lead to cures for diseases by altering DNA — the Berkeley, California, biochemist was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with France's Emmanuelle Charpentier. "I'm proud of my gender," she said. "I hope that this prize …is encouraging to other women who are in science."

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Major Biden

major biden
Adam Schultz/Official White House Photo

The first shelter dog in the White House may have been involved in two minor biting incidents, but the German shepherd has received training to adjust to his new digs. You can teach a rescue dog new tricks.

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Mikayla Holmgren

mikayla holmgren
Courtesy Fadil Berisha

She competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, and now the inspiring 26-year-old model wants to be the first woman with Down syndrome to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. "Just follow your dreams and then do things!" she told PEOPLE.

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Krispy Kreme

krispy kreme
krispy kreme

Show your vaccination card and get a free donut! The brand has given away more than 1.5 million.

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Ali Fedotowsky-Manno

ali fedotowsky
Ali Fedotowsky/Instagram

She didn't find lasting love as the Bachelorette (she married radio host Kevin Manno six years later), but Ali Fedotowsky-Manno has become a beacon of inspiration for the influencer set. For her 1 million Instagram followers, the mom to Molly, almost 5, and Riley, 3, skillfully integrates real life like her struggles with anemia ("Kevin jokes that I produce my own 24-hour reality show") with business partnerships with lifestyle brands. "I made more as an influencer than in any of my other jobs," she says proudly. Despite the downfalls — "People can pick you apart online" — "I feel connected with my followers. This could all go away tomorrow, so for now I'm as authentic as I can possibly be."

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Neighborhoods

in the heights
Macall Polay

Communities mattered more than ever this year, and In the Heights is Lin-Manuel Miranda's love letter to his in Washington Heights. "It's an insanely picturesque point in Manhattan," he says. "I love it so much." Below, the movie's stars share their favorite parts of N.Y.C.

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Tiffany Haddish

tiffany haddish
Emily Shur/CBS/Getty

Beating out four men, she was the first Black woman since Whoopi Goldberg to win a Grammy for a comedy album.

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One World Observatory

Image
Erik Pendzich/REX

As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the highest spot in New York City, atop One World Trade Center (aka the Freedom Tower), is a reminder of how the United States stands strong.

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Olympic Hopeful Sunisa Lee

suni lee
Harry How/Getty

The St. Paul native, 18, hopes to make history in Tokyo as the first Hmong American Olympic gymnast. "It would mean the world for me to go to the Olympics," says Lee, who helped the U.S. team win gold at the 2019 world championships. "To be an inspiration to other Hmong people would mean a lot to me too."

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The Patinkins

mandy patinkin and kathryn grody
Kathryn Grody and Mandy Patinkin. Axelle/Bauer-Grifin/Filmmagic

Actor Mandy Patinkin and his wife of 41 years, Kathryn Grody, became unlikely Instagram stars when their son Gideon began documenting his parents' lives in upstate New York during the pandemic — all the joy and all the bickering. The forced togetherness, Patinkin told The New York Times, has been "one of the true gifts of my life."

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Kim Ng

kim ng
Rob Leiter/MLB Photos/Getty

She started as an intern with the Chicago White Sox and worked her way up. Now she's the new general manager of the Miami Marlins — and the first woman to run a major league baseball team.

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Celebrity Mini-Mes

Tiger Woods and son Charlie at PNC Championship
Mike Ehrmann/Getty

These kids have talent! They held their own — and then some — performing alongside their famous parents, like Charlie Woods, who at 11 years old came in 7th place with his dad Tiger at the PNC championship father-son challenge in Florida last December. (See also: Blue Ivy Carter winning a Grammy, Willow Smith taking the stage with mom Pink and Vin Diesel's son Vincent joining the cast of F9.)

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Guy Fieri

guy fieri
food network

He inked a new three-year deal with the Food Network after helping raise $21.5 million for restaurant workers during the pandemic.

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Empire State Building

empire state building
istockphoto/getty

It hasn't been the tallest since 1972, but it's still arguably the world's most famous; this year the N.Y.C. skyscraper turned 90.

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The Nomads of Nomadland

nomadland
Everett

Houseless but not homeless, the real-life stars of the movie love the van life. "We have quite an eclectic group that come together and bond," Linda May told the Los Angeles Times.

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Levain Cookies

levain bakery
Levain Bakery

Each heavenly treat from the famous bakery has more calories than a Quarter Pounder — but every bite is worth the Quarantine 15.

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Cameo

fran drescher

The celeb video message service thrived, with locked-down stars earning cash by connecting with fans.

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Fran Lebowitz

fran lebowitz
Monica Schipper/Getty

Her Netflix series Pretend It's a City put the curmudgeonly New Yorker back in the spotlight. Now 70, she doesn't use a computer but did some virtual events during the pandemic — and missed having a live audience. "People who are in show business play to the audience," she told Billboard. "I don't do that — I'm not that nice, I'm not that friendly."

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Etsy

etsy
Etsy

Did you go there for masks? Or perhaps candles or crocheted animals? When quarantined craftspeople connected with home shoppers, this online marketplace for handmade items doubled its revenue in 2020.

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Luis Elizondo

luis elizondo
Roger Kisby/Redux

Once viewed as something discussed only by crackpots, UFOs have recently gone mainstream — and one of the people responsible is Luis Elizondo. From 2010 to 2017 he served as director for the Pentagon's secretive Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. "The amount of stigma and taboo that was placed on UFOs for so long has really paralyzed the conversation," says Elizondo, who investigated sightings by fighter pilots and other military personnel. "But these things are real. We don't know what they are yet, but they are real, so we should probably take them seriously."

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Kane Brown

kane brown
Kevin Mazur/Getty

His positive attitude has helped make him a country music star. The secret to his award-winning hit "Worldwide Beautiful"? "It was the message of being able to come together even though we are different," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Iris Apfel

iris apfel
Sean Zanni/Getty

The style icon, who turns 100 in August, is as cool now as ever. Known for her oversize glasses, chunky jewelry and bright colors, she has said, "I never think about my age. Maybe that's the ticket."

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Kai Shappley

kai Shappley
Texas Senate

The brave 10-year-old trans activist testified before the Texas Senate against transphobic bills.

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Leslie Jordan

100 reasons to love america 2021
Robert Trachtenberg

Building on his social media fame, the diminutive actor released a bestselling memoir and a gospel album this year.

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Jean Smart

jean smart
HBO Max

Her career resurgence at 69 in Mare of Easttown and Hacks has been labeled a "Jeanaissance" by Twitter.

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Eugene Goodman

EUGENE GOODMAN
Eugene Goodman. Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo

The Capitol Police officer was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for diverting rioters from the United States Senate chamber on Jan. 6.

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New Postal Trucks

usps new truck
USPS

The U.S. Postal Service is doing something right. Its new mail truck — which will hit the road in 2023 — has innovative safety features as well as more cargo space and can be electric- or gas-powered.

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Shonda Rhimes

shonda rhimes
Kevin Winter/Getty

Netflix made a smart investment paying the showrunner $150 million to make hits. Her first, Bridgerton, is the streaming service's most-watched show and has already been renewed for three more seasons.

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Ghost Kitchens

Ghost kitchens
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

These fully equipped kitchens that specialize in delivery and takeout and can be shared by restaurants to save money are revolutionizing the industry.

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Jessica Long

jessica long
Catherine Ivill/Getty

This year's most inspiring Super Bowl ad was Toyota's tribute to 13-time Paralympic champion swimmer Jessica Long, who was born without fibular bones and had her legs amputated at 18 months. Born to teen parents in Russia, she was adopted at 13 months and raised in Baltimore — and is not shy on the global stage. "Everyone has something that they are insecure about, and I think mine happens to be on display for everyone to see," Long, 29, told ESPN. She's now preparing for the Tokyo Games.

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Sex and the City Reboot

sarah jessica parker in sex and the city
James Devaney/Wireimage

Filming began this month for HBO Max's And Just Like That, though a premiere date has not been set. All original cast members except Kim Cattrall are slated to return.

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Santa Maria Valley, California

Santa Maria Valley
George Rose/Getty

Hurt by the pandemic, this small California town, known for its beaches and wineries, got creative and paid tourists $100 to stay there last winter.

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Cheez-It

cheez it

One of a handful of brands turning 100 this year, its original tagline was: "A Baked Rarebit." (The next seven brands are celebrating the big milestone, too!)

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Baby Ruth

baby ruth

Named after Grover Cleveland's daughter Ruth, not Babe Ruth.

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Betty Crocker

betty crocker

When the Washburn Crosby flour milling company received baking questions from customers, they made up the name Betty Crocker to personalize the answers.

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Edy's Pie

edys ice cream
EDY'S

Invented after a boy in a store couldn't decide whether to spend his money on chocolate or ice cream.

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Wheaties

wheaties

The breakfast of champs was created when a wheat-bran mixture accidentally spilled onto a hot stove. The Muhammad Ali box is part of a new a limited-edition Century Box Series hitting grocery stores this month.

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White Castle

white castle

The original location, in Wichita, Kansas, was started with $700.

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Wise Potato Chips

wise chips

Deli owner Earl Wise made potato chips as a way to use excess potatoes.

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Wonder Bread

wonder bread

One of the country's first presliced breads.

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Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

immersive van gogh in chicago
Michael Brosilow

More than 500,000 tickets have been sold for the digital extravaganza (playing in 40 cities), which allows visitors to virtually step inside the works of the legendary Postimpressionist.

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Celebrity Game Show Hosts

People Puzzler hosted by Leah Remini
PEOPLE Puzzler.

Like talk shows before them, game shows are attracting top talent like Elizabeth Banks (Press Your Luck), Anthony Anderson (To Tell the Truth) and Leah Remini (our own People Puzzler, pictured).

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Ford's Electric Pickup Truck

Ford electric truck
JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty

The rugged F-150 Lightning proves there is an electric vehicle for everyone.

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Spencer Pratt's Hummingbirds

spencer pratt
Spencer Pratt/Facebook

The hundreds of hummingbirds that the "obsessed" former Hills star feeds from his L.A. terrace may be the most magical thing on Instagram.

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Movie Theaters

el capitan theatre
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Getty

Streaming may be here to stay, but the lure of the movie theater still beckons. Turns out lots of people crave a dark space, a giant screen, a box of popcorn and lots of company. A Quiet Place Part II broke pandemic records with a $58.5 million debut.

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Tom Brady

tom brady
Patrick Smith/Getty

In his first year with Tampa Bay, the quarterback won his seventh Super Bowl — a record — and, at 43, became the oldest player to be named Super Bowl MVP. Respect!

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The Best Ice Cream Shops

ice creams

When it comes to frozen desserts, these spots are the cream of the crop!

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Dionne Warwick

dionne Warwick
David Vance

Her voice made her a music legend, but it was her tweets (telling The Weeknd his name was misspelled, for example) that made Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey take note. "Jack said, 'I should put you on staff,'" says Warwick, 80. "I said, 'Well, let's talk about some kind of compensation here.'" Her direct approach — she asked Chance The Rapper: "If you are very obviously a rapper, why did you put it in your stage name?" — resulted in an upcoming collaboration. "Hopefully by August you'll be hearing from Chance The Rapper and Dionne the Singer," she says. Meanwhile she's steering social media in a more positive direction. "Don't say to anyone what you don't want said to you," she says. "Let's put a little laughter into it."

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White Earth Nation

White Earth Nation
KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty

The Minnesota tribe doubled the minimum wage for tribal employees to $16 per hour despite COVID disruptions.

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Natural History Museum

tural history museum vaccinations
Angela Weiss/Getty

Among America's most loved vaccination sites: New York's American Museum of Natural History, with shots administered under the giant blue whale, now sporting a post-jab bandage in solidarity.

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Stanley Tucci's Cocktails

100 reasons to love america 2021
Stanley Tucci/Instagram

Before launching his CNN show Searching for Italy, the actor and connoisseur broke the Internet with instructional videos for making a negroni, a margarita, a Scotch sour and an old-fashioned.

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Dancing Robots

boston dynamics robots
Boston Dynamics

To show off their engineering prowess, Boston Dynamics gave their robots rhythm. The results went viral, with 31 million views on YouTube.

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Queen Latifah

queen latifah
The Tyler Twins

She made a triumphant return to TV in CBS's The Equalizer. Said executive producer Debra Martin Chase: "I have been trying for almost 20 years to bring a Black woman who kicks butt to the screen."

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Ben Affleck & Jennifer Lopez's Rekindled Romance

ben affleck and jennifer lope[z
Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic; Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock

The couple's second chance at love is giving fans a little nostalgia for the early 2000s — and plenty of goose bumps.

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