Indiana’s Underground Railroad

By Erin Lattimer

Due north of slave-owning state Kentucky, Indiana was an intuitive route for slaves seeking freedom in Canada during the 1860s. Stations were located across the state and were mainly only known by word-of-mouth.

The map below lists just a few of the Underground Railroad sites recorded in Indiana. Secrecy for protection led to little documentation of the sites, but organizations like Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service attempt to keep a running list of documented Underground Railroad sites. These services are used to create the pinpoints on this map.

List of Underground Railroad Sites pinpointed:
Alexander T Rankin House
A member of Indiana’s Antislavery Society, Alexander Rankin was the only recorded person to also participate in Ohio’s Antislavery Society.

Bethel AME Church
This church was known as the “Indianapolis Station” and founded in 1836. After a fire in 1862, it was rebuilt in 1867. In 2016 it was sold to a private firm.

Captain Samuel Barry’s Home
One of the original founders of the town, Orland, Captain Samuel Barry’s home frequently gave refuge to escaped slaves.

Daniel Low Estate
Either by hiding them on board grain boats or sneaking them on to trains heading for Michigan and Canada, Daniel Low assisted approximately 150 slaves on the Underground Railroad.

Eleutherian College Classroom and Chapel Building
Symbolically built on top of a hill to demonstrate its commitment to “individual equality, education, and equal opportunity without regard to race or gender,” Eleutherian College was a well-known stop on the Underground Railroad for fugitives traveling through Madison to Indianapolis.

Erastus Farnham House
One of the leaders of the Underground Railroad movement in Fremont, Indiana, Erastus Farnham hid fugitives in his house and kept watch for slave catchers from the cupola on his roof.

Georgetown Neighborhood
At one point populated with abolitionists and freedom seekers, most of the original homes and churches from the Underground Railroad era still stand in this neighborhood.

Levi Coffin House
Owner Levi Coffin has been termed “president” of the Underground Railroad for assisting over 2,000 slaves to freedom as well as supporting other Underground Railroad stations throughout the North.

The Lyman and Asenath Hoyt House
Between 1830 and 1856 Lyman and Asenath Hoyt along with their seven children volunteered their home and property as a station of the Underground Railroad, hiding fugitives in their barn or a cave located on their land.

Thomas Bulla House
Owner Thomas Bulla and his family used their home to aid runaway slaves. The home is located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

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Coca-Cola Doesn’t Need a Halftime Show

By Erin Lattimer

For years the debate has been Coke verses Pepsi. Which is actually better? Research demonstrates that Coca-Cola has control over the soft drink market in past years. However, Pepsi has recently been attempting to combat that by again sponsoring the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

This year’s show featured a well-received Lady Gaga and had fans talking of the performance for days after it aired.

But did Pepsi’s attempt to boost their traffic through Super Bowl sponsorship really work? Google Trends data suggests that while Pepsi received a spike in web searches for their product the day after the Super Bowl, Coca-Cola still received more of the total share of searches.

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Google Trends data comparing searches for Coca-Cola verses Pepsi. Source.

This proves interesting since Coca-Cola only presented a one-minute ad during the game verses Pepsi’s sponsorship of the entire half time performance. Despite more airtime, a live celebrity performance, and multiple announcements of the brand name, Pepsi still fell short in search returns to Coca-Cola.

Nevertheless it should also be noted that there are definitely other factors of the ad campaigns and products that may have influenced the Google Trends data. Web searches may also not fully capture the return that both Pepsi and Coca-Cola received from their Super Bowl investments.

So is it really worth it for Pepsi to continually spend so much money on sponsoring the Half Time Show every year? Share your opinion in the poll and comments section below!

Valentine’s Gifts: Flowers vs. Chocolate

By Erin Lattimer

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and many times that comes with the dilemma: What gift should I get? In recent years Americans have spent approximately $18 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts of all sorts. What could Americans possibly have spent this on?

A survey suggests that flowers and chocolate or candy are two of the most popular gift choices for the holiday every year. These are traditionally the first types of gifts that may cross one’s mind when deciding on purchasing something special.

Not surprisingly, based on Google Trends data, the days surrounding Valentine’s Day are some one of (if not) the most popular days to search for flowers and chocolates. The graph below showcases the number of searches for flowers to chocolate and clearly demonstrates the peaks in the items’ popularity right around the February 14 date.

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A Google Trends graph comparing the number of search results of flowers and chocolate. Source.

However, an interesting note is chocolate’s apparent dominance over flowers in web searches since the aforementioned survey claims flowers to be the more popular gift (at least among males). So is chocolate really the better gift for Valentine’s Day? Or do more folks search for chocolate online because it is harder to find quality candy in stores when you can pick up a bouquet of flowers from the grocery on your way home from work? Share your opinion in the poll and comments as well as if you think there is really one item that makes the best Valentine’s Day gift!