Top 10 GOOD Things That Actually Happened in 2021



Top 10 GOOD Things That Actually Happened in 2021

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mimi Kenny
These stories put a smile on the word's face in 2021! For this list, we'll be looking at the most uplifting news stories and trends to occur over the past year. Our countdown includes Guy Fieri Raises Money for Restaurant Workers, The US Rejoins the Paris Accords, COVID-19 Vaccines, and more!

Top 10 GOOD Things That Actually Happened in 2021

Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 GOOD Things That Actually Happened in 2021.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most uplifting news stories and trends to occur in 2021

What was the best thing that happened to you in 2021? Let us know in the comments!

#10: The Cheetah Returns to India

When we hear of an animal going extinct, we assume it’s gone for good. However, the cheetah, which had been regarded as extinct in India for about 70 years, made a triumphant return to the country in 2021. To accomplish this, experts first had to find suitable environments for these big cats to live in. They decided on the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary, which is to be the home of eight to 12 cheetahs, originating from South Africa. While they’re starting slow, the fact that they’re even taking these steps is worth celebrating. We hope for a happy and harmonious coexistence among humans and cheetahs in India for years to come.

#9: Guy Fieri Raises Money for Restaurant Workers

On shows like “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” Guy Fieri comes across as friendly and supportive of restaurant workers. And this isn’t just an act he’s putting on for the cameras. In 2021, Fieri, along with the National Restaurant Association, started the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to help restaurant workers whose livelihood has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They ended up raising around $25 million and gave $500 grants to more than 43,000 restaurant workers around the United States, as well as American territories like Guam and Puerto Rico. Finally, a politician for the people: the Mayor of Flavortown.

#8: Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” Raises Money for Actor's Fund

If every cloud has a silver lining, then the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how much people are looking out for each other. In 2020, teacher Emily Jacobsen uploaded a humorous tribute song to Remy, the hero rodent of Pixar’s “Ratatouille” to TikTok. Others joined in, and soon, a full-fledged TikTok musical was born. This caught the attention of Disney, who blessedly didn’t shut it down but instead approved a benefit performance to raise money for the Actors Fund. A star-studded production, featuring the likes of Titus Burgess, Wayne Brady, and Adam Lambert, premiered on New Year's Day 2021 and raised more than $2 million. Just like the movie taught us, greatness can come from anywhere.

#7: World’s Most Premature Baby Turns One

The odds of young Richard Scott William Hutchinson surviving after his premature birth in 2020 weren’t just deemed slim; they were deemed non-existent. Born five months early and weighing less than one pound, Richard's parents were told to expect a "0% chance of survival." And they couldn't spend the night with him, due to pandemic restrictions. So, they would commute every day from Wisconsin to Minneapolis to see their newborn. Their support, as well as the efforts of the Children's Minnesota hospital staff, helped Richard to rally, and he came home after six months. In June 2021, the "World's Most Premature Baby" celebrated his first birthday, and we’re so thrilled for him and his family.

#6: The US Rejoins the Paris Accords

The scientific consensus that human activities are warming the planet is almost universal - including over 97% of actively publishing climate scientists. It may already be too late to prevent mass extinctions and an increase in natural disasters, along with trillions of dollars in associated costs. Yet it’s proven difficult for governments to cooperate and take action. The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference disappointed many, with key nations watering down resolutions on coal power. But the year did see the US, the world’s second largest CO2 emitter, rejoin the Paris Accords, having pulled out in 2017. While the Accords are not binding, it’s an important symbolic move, signifying that the US is rejoining the international community in a commitment to limit the rise in global temperature.

#5: Britney Spears Conservatorship Ends

Popstar Britney Spears had been in a conservatorship - in which her personal and business decisions were made by outside forces - since 2008. This was originally supposed to be a temporary arrangement, but Spears eventually spent years at the mercy of her conservators, including her father, Jamie. In the late 2010s, new light was shined on the arrangement, as well as Spears' desire to get out of it. The #FreeBritney movement took the internet by storm and exposed how poorly Spears had been treated, especially by the media. And in November 2021, a judge formally terminated Spears’ conservatorship. This case sparked an important conversation about ethics and conservatorships, one that hopefully inspires even more lasting changes.

#4: Juneteenth Becomes a Federal Holiday

June 19th, 1865 better known as “Juneteenth,” is one of the most significant dates in American history, as it was the end of slavery in Texas, the last Confederate state to allow slavery. While Black communities have held celebrations commemorating Juneteenth for decades, it wasn't until 2021 it was made a federal holiday. On June 17, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which had support from both Democrats and Republicans. We hope this holiday becomes a time for both reflection and celebration, as well as one that inspires generations to come.

#3: China Eliminates Malaria

Malaria, a mosquito-borne illness that some 229 million people contracted in 2019 alone, is still around. However, it’s not as big of a threat as it once was. In 2021, China became the WHO Western Pacific Region’s first country to eliminate the disease since Brunei in 1987. Considering the country had reportedly 30 million annual cases during the 40s, this is a major milestone. But it wasn’t an overnight change. It took decades of sustained effort between health and government officials, with initiatives throughout the decades like the "Project 523" and distribution of protective nets. 2020 marked four years in a row of no indigenous cases, and the WHO declared China malaria-free this year.

#2: Kamala Harris Becomes Vice President

While Kamala Harris was elected as Vice President of the United States with the 2020 election, it wasn’t until January 2021 that she was officially sworn into office. This was a particularly significant inauguration, as Harris is not only the first woman to serve as Vice President, she’s also the first Black Vice President. In an Inauguration Day speech, the former California senator spoke of the country's history of rising to the occasion and meeting challenges with courage. After a year marked by challenges and struggles, it was great to start 2021 with a leader reminding us not to give up hope.

#1: COVID-19 Vaccines

When the global COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, the question on everyone’s mind was “How soon can we get a vaccine for this?” It took plenty of research and clinical trials, but 2021 saw the introduction of multiple COVID-19 vaccine options, with companies like Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson helping people to get immunized. Vaccine rollouts have required patience and cooperation, with the most vulnerable populations being given priority. And while we are still yet to reach global immunity, more than seven billion shots have been given in 184 countries. We hope 2022 is a year of more vaccinations and of better health for everyone, everywhere.
For the sake of 2021 going the way it was supposed to%u2019ve gone: