It Was A Good Year For Some People, Places And Things For many, 2011 wasn't a great year. But look closely at the worlds of business and sports, music and politics, and there were also people and places that had it pretty good. In a weeklong series, we learn about the trends that shaped 2011, and why some companies — and some lab mice — have reasons to be happy.
Special Series

It Was A Good Year For...

In a special series, we learn why the glass was half full for some people, places and products.

Phyllis Siegel (right) kisses her wife, Connie Kopelov, after the two exchanged vows at the Manhattan City Clerk's office. The couple were the first same-sex pair to tie the knot in New York City after the state's Marriage Equality Act went into effect on July 24. Michael Appleton/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Michael Appleton/AP

Midwestern manufacturers are bouncing back — revenues are up at Chicago White Metal Casting for the second year in a row. And the company is hiring, but mainly specialists, such as die-cast machinists and the people with the skills to fix those machines. Niala Boodhoo/WBEZ hide caption

toggle caption
Niala Boodhoo/WBEZ

Reason To Smile: Samuel Palmisano, president and CEO of IBM, walks by an IBM logo at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover, Germany. Palmisano is set to step down later this month, and Virginia Rometty will take over on Jan. 1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Chris Carl, foreman of the Shelburne Limestone Corp. quarry in South Wallingford, says Vermont's weather woes helped to more than double the quarry's business. Nina Keck/Vermont Public Radio hide caption

toggle caption
Nina Keck/Vermont Public Radio

Same-sex couple Joseph and Jim pose for a photo as they wait to be officially married at the Manhattan City Clerk's Office on July 24, 2011, the first day gay couples were allowed to legally marry in New York. Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Getty Images

Korean pop group Girls' Generation pose on the red carpet to attend the MNET Asian Music Awards ceremony in Singapore in November. AFP/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Gold And Bond Investors

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/144076788/144083489" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">