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Cities in the United States are named after many things. Some are named after people, others are named for ancient places, and still others are named for land features, Native American terms, or even animals. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, however, is a different story. Known throughout New Mexico as "T or C," the town of Truth or Consequences got its name from the popular 1950’s radio show. In the show Truth or Consequences, contestants would have two seconds to answer a difficult trivia question before having to perform an embarrassing stunt. In 1950, the host of the show, Ralph Edwards, announced that he would broadcast the program from a town that agreed to rename itself after the show.  The town, originally called Hot Springs, for its naturally hot mineral baths, saw an opportunity to market itself to the entire nation. The residents overwhelmingly voted to change the town’s name to Truth or Consequences. Truth or Consequences suddenly received attention from across the nation, but since it was announced on April 1, many assumed it was an April fools joke!


It was no joke, however. According to Ralph Edwards, the town was chosen because it “demonstrated a real friendliness for people and a desire to help mankind.” Until his death in 2005, Edwards returned to the town every year in honor of its name change during a city-wide celebration known as “Fiesta.” “Fiesta,” usually held during the first week of May, celebrates the life of Ralph Edwards and features a parade, a beauty contest and a stage show.