When interviewed shortly before returning to Earth before a total of 340 days on the International Space Station, astronaut Mark Kelly said that he had most missed 'human contact' in space.
Jackie Robinson's entry into baseball. Before you move this to the Sports section, realize that this watershed event has implications far beyond baseball or even sports. Now, it's clearly a CMoAwesome but why heartwarming you ask? Because even though Robinson put up with racist abuse that was extreme even by 1947 standards there are numerous examples that not all Humans Are Bastards. Some highlights...
Some of the Brooklyn Dodgers stated that they would not play with a black man. Team owner Branch Rickey and manager Leo Durocher both stated whoever didn't want to play with Robinson could "pack their shit and take a trade."
Jewish ballplayer Hank Greenberg, no stranger to racial abuse, actually gave Robinson a quick pep talk and basically told him to beat the bigots "on the field".
Robinson teammate Pee Wee Reese went out and put his arm around Robinson's shoulder during one home game when the abuse was nearly unbearable.
Phillies manager Ben Chapman specifically incited his team to chant "nigger" at Robinson during the games they played against the Dodgers and insinuated that their pitchers would aim for Robinson's head. The Dodgers as a team indirectly let it be known that any attack on Robinson, no matter how little, would be swiftly settled both on the field and off.
There was also the City of Montreal where Jackie played in 1946 as a member of the Dodgers' minor league team, the Montreal Royals. In that season, Jackie was subject to even more abuse than in his later Dodger period, almost to driving him to a nervous breakdown. However, Robinson survived in part because the population of Montreal made their city a welcome oasis where he was the local hero with a level of adoration so powerful that when the Royals won the Minor League World Series there, Robinson was chased by his exuberant fans right to his departing train. As one observer said, "It was the first time when a black man was chased by a mob with love, instead of lynching, on its mind."
Of course, this being Montreal people weren't as judgemental about skin colour. Just judgemental about whether one spoke English or French.
Well there was a book in the sixties that labeled French-Canadians "the white niggers of North America" so there was probably a good deal of sympathy there.
The Patriot Guard Riders. To put it succinctly, the WBC or Westboro Baptist Church was protesting Iraq. This is ok, they have a right to protest, yes. Then they showed up at the funeral of SPC Meyers of St Joseph, Missouri, and numerous other military funerals and other sites, claiming that God is killing American servicemembers because the US tolerates gay people. They are operating in every state of the US to shield the mourning families from protesters by drowning them out with their motorcycles. They cooperate with the law enforcement. They do not use violence. And these are members of the Hell's Angels, a Biker gang well-known for their (real and exaggerated) violent tendencies. It says a lot that they refuse to stoop so low as to give in to their goading.
Malcom X had a profoundly moving Heartwarming Moment in 1964 after his pilgrimage to Mecca. Consider that this was a man who grew up in the '30s and '40s in Jim Crow America, which was not a particularly fun time to be black; three uncles were murdered by white men and his grandmother raped by a white man; the Klan threatened the family several times, once while his mother was pregnant with him, burned down their home, and later murdered his father; the insurance company wouldn't give his mother the benefits of her husband's life insurance policy, claiming the man committed suicide in spite of evidence to the contrary; she was considered unfit to be a mother by authorities and committed to a mental institution for 26 years while Malcolm and his siblings were split up by social services and put in abusive foster homes; in spite of his good grades and ambitions to become a lawyer, both peers and teachers told him it would never happen, so he dropped out; he took degrading jobs serving obnoxious racists and turned to crime on the side, which he was jailed and suffered for. He joined the Nation of Islam, a black nationalist movement. This was a man who had every reason to be as angry as he was, then Malcolm when to Mecca on pilgrimage and saw the brotherhood of humanity in a whole new way and came back with this to say.
Also Malcolm's telegram to George Lincoln Rockwell, a leader of the American Nazi Party, during the Ku Klux Klan's "Hate Bus" tour of the South in response to the Freedom Rider movement. It counts because, much as he and Martin Luther King disagreed on methods fighting racism, he at least acknowledged they were fighting the same fight and was willing to defend King.
Malcolm X:This is to warn you that I am no longer held in check from fighting white supremacists by Elijah Muhammad's separatist Black Muslim movement, and that if your present racist agitation against our people there in Alabama causes physical harm to Reverend King or any other black Americans who are only attempting to enjoy their rights as free human beings, that you and your Ku Klux Klan friends will be met with maximum physical retaliation from those of us who are not hand-cuffed by the disarming philosophy of nonviolence, and who believe in asserting our right of self-defense — by any means necessary.
A few days before Christmas, 1943, a formation of Anerican B-17 bombers hit a target in northern Germany. One of them was called Ye Olde Pub and had a brand-new crew on their first mission with a pilot named 2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Ye Olde Pub was shot to pieces by German fighters, but stayed (barely) in the air, with their tail gunner dead and two other men badly wounded. When they flew over a German airbase, a veteran Luftwaffe fighter pilot named 1st Lieutenant Franz Stigler took off to take them down. Stigler caught the B-17, but was surprised when they didn't shoot at him. He flew alongside the bomber, seeing wounded gunners being cared for by their terrified comrades, and realized they were completely defenseless. Stigler (a devout Catholic who'd never really bought into Nazi ideology) remembered the words of his first commander in North Africa, who had told him, "Honor is everything here. It's what keeps you human. If I ever hear that you shot a man in a parachute, I'll shoot you myself." Stigler couldn't pull the trigger. Then he realized that the B-17, flying low and slow on two engines, was heading straight for a coastal antiaircraft battery. If he couldn't shoot them down in good conscience, he certainly couldn't let that happen either. He formed up tight on the bomber's right wing in an escort position. Brown saw the Messerschmitt fighter alongside and tried not to panic, having no idea what the German was doing. Then he realized that the flak guns weren't firing as they crossed the coastline. With Brown's surviving crew safely on their way back to East Anglia, Stigler turned away and returned to his own base, never mentioning the encounter for obvious reasons. Brown's crew reported the incident in their debriefing, but were told to keep quiet about it, both to avoid generating sympathy for the enemy, and to prevent the Gestapo from going after this honorable German pilot, whoever he might be. It remained secret until Charlie Brown came out with it in the 1980s, hoping to find the man who had saved the lives of himself and his crew. Stigler, now living in British Columbia, came forward and met Brown for the second time in Seattle in 1988. The two men greeted eachother like long-lost brothers (Franz Stigler tearfully exclaimed, "I love you, Charlie!" when they told their story to a TV news crew) and remained best friends for the rest of their lives.
Franz Stigler started receiving massive amounts of hate mail when the story broke in Germany, being called a traitor, a coward, and everything else imaginable. One day, he got a phone call from his longtime friend, war buddy, and wartime commander General Adolf Galland, perhaps the most legendary German fighter ace of the war. When Stigler admitted it was true, Galland paused for a moment, then said, "Well, it would be you, pal." Galland said that what Franz had done was treason, but it was also the right thing to do, and Galland (no huge fan of the Nazi party himself) was proud of him for doing it.
This from the BBC's Last Night of the Proms 2009: the traditional singing of Auld Lang Syne. Sure the airhorns are annoying, but this was the Royal Albert, the largest theater in Britain, packed to the gills, and you could hear a pin drop.
A 9/11 story about a firefighter who was not called to the towers, but had a wife who worked there. When the towers collapsed, they both feared that the other was dead, but they are reunited soon after at the firehouse.
Also, the "Miracle of Stairwell B", in which several city firefighters actually survived inside the collapsing North Tower. They'd willingly slowed down their own escape to assist an injured older woman's descent, and therefore just happened to be in the one piece of stairwell that didn't cave in on itself when the building fell.
Johnny Dare, a radio DJ, does a charity known as "Hope for the Holidays" ever year. People in need write letters to his radio show asking for a "hand up" They play Hark the Herald Angels Sing as they read the letter and interview the person in need. And then it shifts into a rock instrumental version of "Twelve Days of Christmas" and the support rolls in.
Ringo Starr once decided the Beatles didn't need him, so he left. The band almost immediately flew over to get him back, and George Harrison decorated his drum set with flowers as a welcome-back surprise.
Ringo's book "Postcards from the Boys" provides a lot of heartwarming moments between the Beatles—including the flower thing. He mentions that he was filming a movie, and George was supposed to have a part in it. George broke his ankle or something, and couldn't be in the movie, but flew over and hung out on set with Ringo anyway.
Ringo was once asked in an interview: "What was the best thing about being in the Beatles?" Ringo's reply? "Having three brothers."
The story behind the song "Hey Jude". Paul McCartney wrote it for John Lennon's son Julian, who was perfectly miserable at the time trying to cope with his parents' divorce.
Having come in a few months after the event, the page chronicling the frenzied conversation immediately following The Great Crash is bizarrely heartwarming. All those tropers, working toward one noble goal...
Tank Man, AKA the Unknown Rebel. A single man displaying heroism and bravery that belong to the best of comic books or movies, only in real life. It's a touching, inspiring moment, showing humanity at its absolute best. Also, a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
Similar photo◊ from the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia shows a bare-chested man facing a tank.
Three times is a charm: This◊ photo of a protester offering flowers to the police at the 17th November 1989 demonstration (which ended up being brutally suppressed by the police, with hundreds of people injured - an event that sparked what came to be called the Velvet Revolution). Also, the Velvet Revolution itself.
The two young women in  episode of "What Would You Do?" All day, people came and went seeing a Muslim woman (apparently) being verbally abused and refused service—and these two girls finally stepped in and, most importantly, refused to stand down.
The man whose son had just returned from a year in Iraq, sharing a tearful hug with the Muslim girl who helped design the experiment, though the whole thing doubles as a Tear Jerker.
The New Kids on the Block "Homecoming" concert at the TD Banknorth Garden: The guys have stated that they expected their reunion, after a fifteen year hiatus, would be, at most, popular with the few remaining dedicated fans and they probably had a vague suspicion that the Boston show would be popular. But it became absolutely clear that they had no idea how dedicated the fandom has been all this time during the point in the show when Donnie was trying to finish a monologue introducing the next song... And he was having a very hard time doing so because he was moved to tears by the audience: hundreds and hundreds of fans, many bringing along their children, not so much cheering as hitting octaves not heard since 1990, and wearing their lovingly preserved classic concert shirts, hats, giant buttons, and so on. Talk about "I'll Be Loving You Forever"!
Eight years to the day after conceding the nomination to Barack Obama in 2008, Hillary Rodham Clinton walked out into the Brooklyn Navy Yard to give her first speech as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States — the first woman to receive that honor from either party in the country's history. The look on her face had to be seen to be believed.