From Carrie Underwood and the Jonas Brothers to Goat Yoga and BBQ: 100 Reasons to Love America in 2019

From Carrie Underwood and the Jonas Brothers to Goat Yoga and BBQ: 100 Reasons to Love America in 2019


From Carrie Underwood and the Jonas Brothers to goat yoga and BBQ, there are so many reasons to love the USA this summer

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Carrie Underwood

Rare and refreshing: a relatable icon who shares her journey. (And her five favorite cities in America!)

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Kacey Musgraves and the Modern Women of Country

After a decade filled with bro-country odes to trucks, tailgates and tank tops, a new generation of female singer-songwriters like Musgraves, Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini are making their own mark on country music — and expanding the genre as they do it. 

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Tiger Woods

Everybody loves a comeback! The golfer, 43, overcame addiction and scandal to win the Masters. 

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Gary Sinise

The actor dedicates his life to supporting veterans. His foundation has adapted more than 50 smart homes for wounded warriors.

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Goat Yoga

The most joyful type of yoga, because of goats.

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Tuition-Free Community Colleges

Eleven states have programs in place.

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Mariano Rivera

The former New York Yankee is the first person elected unanimously to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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The Statue of Liberty Museum

Now open on Liberty Island, the 26,000-sq.-ft. structure celebrates the universal symbol of freedom and brings the immigrant experience to life. Admission is free.

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Timothée Chalamet

The actor, 23, proved he’s a nice person when he was seated on a plane— in economy class—next to superfan Alankrutha Giridhar, who live-tweeted the ride (and took this hoodie pic). He answered all of her questions, and she wrote, “What shocks me the most is this dude wanted to know about me!”

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Brady Bunch House Renovation

In an explosion of nostalgia, the original Brady Bunch house has been restored to its 1970s glory by the stars of the sitcom along with HGTV pros. A Very Brady Renovation will air in September.

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Michelle Obama

Her book Becoming is set to become the bestselling memoir in history. But the former First Lady is as self-effacing as she is confident. After she appeared at the Grammys, she shared some texts she exchanged with her mom. ‘Did you meet any of the real stars?’ asked Marian Robinson. Replied Obama: ‘I am a real star…by the way.’

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This app uses answer bots to get rid of spam calls from telemarketers and scammers.

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Asheville, N.C.

The Blue Ridge Mountain city calls itself Dog City U.S.A., and canines are welcome at bakeries, bars breweries and stores. A hotel, Aloft, even fosters dogs until they are adopted by guests.

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L.L. Bean Boots

The Freeport, Maine, company’s boots and totes are having a fashion moment, and they’re made in the U.S.A.

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Pi Day

On March 14 we celebrate math and eat pie (3.14=pi).

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Cardi B & Bruno Mars

Their second smash hit together, “Please Me,” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

When the New York City department store began its holiday tradition in 1924, it promised a “marathon of mirth,” and it has delivered year after year with intricate floats, iconic balloons and musical performances.

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The Jonas Brothers

All grown up and married now — Nick to Priyanka Chopra and Joe to Sophie Turner just this year; Kevin is a father of two — the three put their differences aside to make music again (and a documentary) after six years apart.

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Buffalo, New York

A rust-belt city having a renaissance. Spectacular late-19th-century architecture provides a backdrop for a busy restaurant and bar scene. 

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Celebrity Cruises

If the ship’s destinations and amenities aren’t enough of a draw, travelers can now set sail with the likes of Oprah, the Property Brothers or Jon Bon Jovi.

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TWA Hotel at JFK Airport

TWA’s 1960s flight center, designed by architect Eero Saarinen, closed in 2001, along with the airline. Renovated as a hotel, it has 512 rooms. Rates start at $249 per night, or you can book a four-hour stay for $139.

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C-Span’s 40th Anniversary

The nonprofit network is all about transparency, televising congressional proceedings since 1979.

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Nancy Drew

The classic teen sleuth got a movie this year — and a new TV series was picked up in May.

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Comics Maya Erskine (left) and Anna Konkle, both in their 30s, play teen versions of themselves in this Hulu hit, sending up middle school by portraying it as it really happened. 

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In the superb Netflix documentary Homecoming, the first black woman to headline Coachella not only proves that she’s the “best performer in the world,” in the words of her husband, JAY-Z — she also reveals details of her difficult pregnancy and strict postpartum diet. 

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Government Workers

The longest shutdown in history proved how valuable they are.

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Burr-Hamilton Duel Reenactment

Chicago White Sox teammates Ryan Burr and Ian Hamilton (no relation to the originals) couldn’t resist capitalizing on their names by pulling out their revolutionary garb and re-creating the historic event – without bullets – in March.

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The Vessel at Hudson Yards

With 154 flights of stairs, the over $150 million N.Y.C. space has been called the world’s most expensive selfie spot.

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Tim Tebow’s Elaborate Proposal

The former NFL quarterback raised the bar on a millennial trend when he whisked Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters to his family’s Florida farm and slipped a 7.25-carat solitaire ring on her finger. Then singer Mathew Mole stepped out from behind a bale of hay to serenade the couple with “The Wedding Song.”

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Andy Cohen’s Baby

Benjamin Allen, born Feb. 4, wins the hair and smile sweepstakes. “I’m in love,” the Bravo host wrote on Instagram.

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Apollo 11 Anniversary

It was 50 years ago that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took a walk on the moon—a giant leap for mankind.

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The All-American brand has started trading publicly on the NYSE.

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Grant Thompson

The teen discovered a FaceTime bug that spies on users—and got it fixed.

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Sesame Street

For the show’s 50th anniversary, the USPS has issued stamps. (Confidential to young readers: You buy these at a post office.)

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Jimmy Fallon’s Wheel of Musical Impressions

The popular game on The Tonight Show (the host is pictured with Alicia Keys) has inspired a new NBC competition show.

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Helping others is a core value.

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‘Old Town Road’

The country rap song by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus (shown above, with Keith Urban) went viral and topped the charts in more than 12 countries.

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The Lottery

The Mega Millions jackpot keeps getting bigger. (Odds of winning: 1 in 300 million.)

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Dunkin’ Yogurt

Boston Kreme flavor (also cinnamon roll) without the guilt.

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Kenan Thompson

Saturday Night Live’s longest-running cast member—he started in 2003—is also its MVP, with breakout characters like Steve Harvey (pictured) and the host of Black Jeopardy. “I want people to say that I did it right,” he told Vanity Fair. Next he plays a dad on his own NBC show.

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Friends Turns 25

Before the iconic TV show premiered, director James Burrows sent the cast to Vegas to commemorate their last days of anonymity. They’ve barely had a quiet moment since. Though Courteney Cox received almost 4 million views of a video she posted while visiting the Friends N.Y.C. apartment in March, there’s little hope of a reunion—but Jennifer Aniston said, “Anything could happen.” 

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Public Libraries

Maybe there’s no allure left in the Dewey decimal system, but libraries have been reinventing themselves in the digital age as community hubs, with business resources and teen spaces. And they’re free.

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Janet Jackson’s Las Vegas Residency

The pop star traces her journey in “Metamorphosis,” at the Park MGM through August.

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Food Delivery Apps

Seamless, Grubhub, Uber Eats and others bring dinner to your door

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Dr. Pimple Popper

The extractions showcased by dermatologist Sandra Lee are grotesquely satisfying.

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Shareable Scooters

Last year we took 38.5 million trips on e-scooters. (That includes Tyler Posey, pictured, riding a Bird in L.A.) They’re ecofriendly and a cheap way to get around.

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Kids Suing the Government Over Climate Change

Here’s to Gen Z for taking action. Juliana v. the United States says federal energy policy puts children in harm’s way.

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Ring Doorbell

Helps stop crime in your neighborhood.

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Tanitoluwa Adewumi

The Nigerian refugee, 8, won a chess championship; then a fund drive raised money for his family to get a home. (Even cooler? The family is using the majority of the money to set up a fund to help other African immigrants.)

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Pod Save America

Former Obama staffers are smart and insightful on this podcast.

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Cheez Whiz

For a hot minute it was considered healthy.

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Katelyn Ohashi

The UCLA gymnast brought joy to her sport.

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Ali Stroker

The first wheelchair user to win a Tony Award.

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An e-commerce company with fair prices, no labels.

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Jordan Peele

The director of Get Out and Us is Hollywood’s hottest filmmaker.

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Pool Floats

Fun, relaxing and Instagrammable.

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Steph Curry

Thanks to Riley Morrison, he makes girls’ shoe sizes.

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Dan Crenshaw’s Glass Eye

The Congressman, who lost his eye to an IED while serving as a Navy Seal in Afghanistan, has a glass eye inspired by Captain America!

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The Masked Singer

A freaky hit that’s all about those costumes.

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The thrill of pregame partying and charcoal grilling.

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James Holzhauer

The pro sports gambler changed the way Jeopardy! is played.

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Amy Schumer’s Maternity Selfies

The new mom of Gene Attell kept them refreshingly real.

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It comes in 50 colors, it smells great, and it helps kids focus. Sept. 16 is National Play-Doh Day.

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Southwest Airlines Semiannual Sales

In June and October snag $49 one-way flights to Nashville or $159 tickets to Honolulu. (Blackout days apply.)

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus

The superstar brought TV’s best comedy, Veep, to an end in May.

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Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary

Three days of peace, love and rock and roll changed the culture.

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The Grand Canyon’s Anniversary

Every year more than 6 million travelers visit the 277-mile Arizona canyon that was designated a national park in 1919. Carved by the Colorado River, the breathtaking expanse is one of the deepest gorges on the planet and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Bucket-list it.

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Wild Horses of Assateague Island

Beautiful, feral horses have roamed this barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia since the 1600s. They’ve survived extreme weather conditions but are threatened by climate change.

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Sully the Dog

George H.W. Bush’s former service dog now works with injured military veterans at Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda, Md.

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Tom Brady

At 41, the New England Patriots quarterback became the first player in history to win six Super Bowls.

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Jennifer Lopez & Alex Rodriguez

Let us count the ways these two are made for each other. The way they found each other in their 40s! The way they always match! The places they go! The things they post on Instagram! (“There are icons but there is only one Jennifer Lopez, ladies and gentlemen,” wrote A-Rod.) “Our life right now is incredibly wonderful,” Lopez told Good Morning America. “We don’t need anything more.”

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Women in Congress

A record 127 women (106 Democrats, 21 Republicans) now serve in Congress, including the first Muslim women and the first Native American women. A milestone, but still under 25 percent of all the seats.

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Memphis Bicentennial

The home of the blues turns 200. Visit the birthplace of rock and roll and the must-see Civil Rights Museum.

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Searching the world for people living longer, happier lives.

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Dairy Queen

Beloved for Blizzards, Dilly Bars and soft-serve cones.

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Preaching love and acceptance in a hate-filled world.

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Shark Week

The longest-running program on cable begins July 28 on Discovery.

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Air Fryers

The new Instant Pots.

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Jones Bar-B-Q

After a Queer Eye makeover, the restaurant owned by Kansas City, Kans. sisters Mary and Deborah Jones got the attention it deserved. They’ve since sold thousands of bottles of sauce.

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Kodi Lee

The blind, autistic musical savant’s performance of “A Song for You” on America’s Got Talent earned the 22-year-old a pass to the finals – and more than 30 million views online.

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Dr. Ruth

At 91, the 4’7″ sex therapist still has a lust for life—along with a Hulu documentary, Ask Dr. Ruth, and some tried-and-true advice. “Good sex is not just about what’s between the waist and the knees,” she told People. “It’s mainly in the brain.”

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The Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day

For 56 years the Chicago River has gone green on March 17. Don’t worry—the ecofriendly dye is made from a vegetable base.

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Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

They are on fire. They are both single. That is all.

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It just may be the greatest show on earth. Wrestling’s longest-running professional event—held in the spring, it has been going strong since 1985—is spectacle, soap opera and an indelible part of American culture.

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National Comedy Center

The country’s first museum devoted to comedy is worth the trip to Jamestown, N.Y., Lucille Ball’s hometown.

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Street Fairs

Bringing fun and amazing food to your neighborhood.

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Bill Nye

The Science Guy is optimistic. “This is still the best time to be born,” he said last week.

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Impossible Burger

Finally! A plant-based burger that tastes like meat. Try it at White Castle or Burger King.

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HGTV’s Restored by the Fords

Contractor Steve Ford and his designer sister Leanne renovate Pittsburgh homes and set trends. White paint and imperfections help a home look “easy, warm and lived-in,” she said.

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Cazzie David

The new It Girl has a pedigree (her dad is Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David), an upcoming book (No One Asked for This, a humorous essay collection due out next year) and a forthcoming Amazon TV show: David, 25, will cowrite and star in Half-Empty, a comedy about a college student who thinks catastrophically.

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Griffith Observatory

A spectacular place to see the stars — and the Hollywood sign. Admission is free. 

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Most Stuf Oreo

Makes other Oreos seem like they don’t have enough stuff.

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Recently named an Olympic sport. Respect. 

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Thrift Stores

Buying a used item of clothing reduces its carbon footprint by 82 percent. There’s lots of inventory, thanks to the decluttering trend.

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Lilly Pulitzer

Cheerful prints (with the name “Lilly” hidden in them) let you live that Florida life.

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Howard Stern

His new book Howard Stern Comes Again shows what a brilliant interviewer he is.

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Katie Bouman

The 30-year-old computer scientist from MIT led a team that developed the algorithm to capture the first image of a black hole — and became a hero for girls in STEM.

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The Marvel Universe

Twenty-two movies strong, with this year’s climactic Avengers: Endgame one of the biggest box-office hits of all time, the Marvel Universe could very well keep expanding to infinity. 

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Amusement Parks

They’re the ultimate in escapism. “The original parks had only simple mechanical rides and you’d be satisfied with a spin on the merry-go-round,” says Stephen Silverman, author of The Amusement Park. “They’ve become much more sophisticated now!”

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Amusement Park Foods

They’re crazier and more creative than ever!

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