100 great things about America

July 1, 2011, 1:00 PM UTC

[ Intro | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 75-100 ]

1. Opportunity
We live in the land of it. It’s knocking. And all the other adages — all true.

2. The Interstate Highway System.
Road trip! Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, Chevy Chase — and you.

3. The Sears Tower
Naming rights are well and good, but the Willis Tower is still Sears (SHLD) to us — and still the nation’s tallest building.

4. Wal-Mart employees in Joplin, Mo.
Store employees saved lives during the tornado. Now that’s service.

5. Navy Seals
They get the big jobs done, and they don’t talk about it.

More than sports, it’s a cradle of pop culture, coming from an unlikely-ville: Bristol, Conn.

7. FedEx
The iconic trucks with their orange-and-purple trim always come through.

8. Steve Jobs
The brain behind the iPhone, iPad, and iEverything finally managed to get the Beatles onto iTunes. What can’t this guy do?

9. Whole Foods
It’s a locavore market, it’s a scene — and if you bring your own reusable bag, most stores will knock a dime off the bill.

10. Microsoft Word
RTF, PDF — these mean little to us. The doc is king.

11. Ford F-150
The bestselling pickup truck of all time.

12. The Rockefeller Family
The towering bloodline is synonymous with oil, power, and New York City, but its legacy includes Colonial Williamsburg, MoMA, Acadia and Grand Teton National Parks — and much more.

13. Caterpillar
When you stick your neck out to gawk at a construction site on the highway, notice it’s always Cat (CAT) machinery?

14. Detroit
Motown’s rise, fall, and — we hope — rise again.

15. The Kindle
Savior to trees and book publishing alike.

16. Duct tape
Everyone’s first fix-it choice. Just ask MacGyver. Or MacGruber.

17. The Bill of Rights
The big 10, baby. (We’re especially partial to freedom of the press.)

18. The Wall Street Bull
The market may be struggling, but tourists keep coming to get a photo with its iconic symbol.

19. Carlos Santana
If you didn’t already have “Oye Como Va” in your head, you will now.

20. Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon
Kentucky-made, by one family, since 1893.

21. LinkedIn
Facebook for grownups — and a hot IPO too.

22. Colin Powell
Statesman, retired four-star general, and child of immigrants: an American story.

23. Bill and Melinda Gates
Money getting money to pledge money.

24. GEICO commercials
Always clever (though we prefer the gecko to the guy in the suit and the cavemen).

25. The Mississippi River
Our country’s largest river system — and muse to Twain, Faulkner, Zeppelin, and Cash.

[The list: Intro | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 75-100 ]

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