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Friday, December 4, 2015

Downtown Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico

Residents of Hot Springs, New Mexico, like millions around the United States listened to the popular radio quiz show, Truth or Consequences,  Host Ralph Edwards opened each broadcast with these lines: "Hello there!  We've been waiting for you."

During a broadcast in late 1949, Edwards announced that the show's producers wanted to hear from any town or city willing to change its name to "Truth or Consequences."  The name of the town or city would be announced on the show's upcoming 10 year anniversary.

This small city in Southwest New Mexico had the most engaging letter of application.  Producer Ed Bailey visited Hot Springs and spoke with citizens and city officials.  Hot Springs has long been a magnet for arthritis and polio patients.  Carrie Tingley Orthopedic Hospital helped those in need.  He reported to Ralph Edwards that the winning city had been found.

Edwards, a devoted fundraiser for March of Dimes, the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, agreed with Bailey.

The name change had to be approved by the public before it could be announced on the 10th anniversary radio show.  On March 31, 1950, Hot Springs residents voted, overwhelmingly, to change the city's name.  The next day, April 1, 1950, 10,000 people attended the first Truth or or Consequences Fiesta.  Ralph Edwards was on hand to announce the city's name change, as promised, on the program's 10th anniversary broadcast.  He spoke glowingly of the city's hot springs medical facilities and rehabilitation efforts.

Edwards visited Truth or Consequences annually for many years to attend Fiesta.  Twice more residents went to the polls to vote on changing their city's name.  Each time, Truth or Consequences was the clear winner.

The Grapevine Bistro
serves breakfast &

House of Pain is
 the local gym.

The Brazen Fox Taqueria

Fire Water Lodge is a
Hot Springs Spa.

Loretta's Gift Emporium
"Outlawed" Gallery

Magnolia Ellis practiced
holistic medicine here
through the 1930s &

Miner's Claim Gifts 

Martha's Ever Changing
Gift Store

Little Sprout Market &
Juice Bar has closed.

January's Vintage Store

Eric & I really like this
window display made
with cassette tapes.

Truth Tattoos

Truth Bicycles Co.
& Board Supply

The murals above the Bank
of the Southwest honors the
city's heritage...

Xochi's Bookstore
& Gallery

Myra's Pampered Nails
Salon & Gifts

The Chamber of Commerce
Truth or Consequences &
Sierra County

Every city, town and village has a unique history.  Some have changed their names, without the general public noticing.  Hot Springs, New Mexico became Truth or Consequences with millions of Americans applauding.

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