For the Love of the Game – Truth or Consequences, NM
We all have times in our lives that we get caught up in the game….you know, the thrill of the chase, the excitement of the match, the fun of the show. There’s very few people who would stake their name on it however, but that’s exactly what happened in a sleepy little town in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico.
It was 1950 and Ralph Edwards was hosting a game show on NBC radio called Truth or Consequences. The stunts were ridiculously funny and the show was wildly popular but Ralph, always the consummate publicist, wanted something extra to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary. So, he threw out a challenge. The city or town who was willing to change their name to the show’s namesake would get the privilege of the anniversary broadcast.
It was of course a crazy and brilliant idea, but it gained traction and the little town of Hot Springs (known for, you guessed it…hot springs) jumped right on it. On March 31st, 1950 a special election was held and the citizens voted 1,295 to 295 in favor. The show accepted the entry, the name change was made and a sleepy little desert city became an instant country-wide celebrity.
We arrived here just in time for the yearly celebration, a themed Fiesta held the 1st week of every May to mark the name change, which Ralph Edwards himself attended for 50 years. Overall the spot is a real interesting mix. Truth or Consequences sits right next to the biggest body of water in New Mexico (Elephant Butte Lake), surrounded by high desert and striking mountains. It’s one of those bleak yet stunning environments, often pounded by heavy winds and extreme desert whims.
We’ve been peacefully enjoying its shores since we got here and have had a blast walking the nature trails, playing in the water, attending the festival and learning about the history. There’s no doubt this is still a sleepy little desert town, and it’s certainly still known for its’ spas and hot springs, but it remains forever famous for its’ most unusual and memorable name.SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Sandie Dixon says
Did they have the karaoke at the festival this year? We went the year we were in EB and had so much fun. Loved the parade. Interesting little town.
Sandie, They DID! It was a ton of fun. Very cute little festival, but lots going on. Nina
Another suggestion for NM adventure is Angel Fire. The first Vietnam Memorial (The David Westphall Memorial) where you could literally spend months. For me, it was one of the most moving places I’ve ever been. It has been opened to all vets, recently sold to the state I believe. I was up there last May, but it was closed for renovations. I was very disappointed, and I hope it hasn’t changed since Dr. Westphall owned it.
It’s along the route of The Enchanted Loop Drive which is well worth your time. http://www.city-data.com/articles/Enchanted-Circle-Drive-Taos-New-Mexico.html
THANK YOU for the tip!! I’ll be checking it out to see if we can add it to the route. Looks like a fabulous place to spend some time.
Jerry and Suzy LeRoy says
Don’t you dare leave that area without touring the “ghost towns” of Kingston and Hillsboro! They are not to be missed. They are out onthe Geronimo Trail.
OOOOO….cheers so much for the idea. We’re stuck here in Elephant Butte for a few more days so this is the perfect outing!
Great post and ideas from readers. We are planning to be there in the next couple of weeks 🙂 We just liked the name on the map and thought it would be a good idea to check out the springs. Nice to know where he name came from before going.
It’s a cool little place. Definitely plan on a spa-day while you’re here, and I highly recommend Elephant Butte State Park
as a place to stay. If you like peace and quiet, as we do, the northern section (Monticello entrance) is the place to camp.
Some fabulous lake-view sites up here in the reservation section, but also a lot of lovely non-reservation spots.
A not to be missed place to eat in T or C is the Pacific Cafe. Have been following you blog for a couple of months, goood work. Keep it coming!
Cheers for the tip and the compliment 🙂
Paul Weaver says
We simply loved Elephant Butte SP and can’t wait to return someday!
You’re not far from VLR (Very Large Array) another interesting stop.
Enjoying you Travels!
Yeah, we’re hoping (if weather allows) to spend a little time near the VLA and check
out the area. That’s our next stop (fingers and paws crossed).
Candace Rivero says
I 2nd the motion on Angel Fire. My Mom spends the whole summer up there in her RV … cool temps at 7000′ elevation and vistas & sunsets that take your breath away. Enjoy.
Thanks so much. Really looks like we’ve gotta add it to the list!
Christy @ Technosyncratic says
We made a quick stop here for a dip in some of their hot springs (which were awesome) and were so amused by the name. I can’t believe they decided to change it from Hot Springs, NM… because that was advertisement for what they’re mostly known for! What a hoot. 🙂
I know…nuts isn’t it? We stopped for the crazy name too and loved finding out the story of it.
Great post on TorC. I just wanted to share a little more info about Fiesta and the name change. The name changed was officially changed April 1, 1950 – on April Fools Day! 🙂
As for Fiesta – the theme of Fiesta changes every year. This year’s theme was Renaissance. Past themes include: Mardi Gras on the Rio Grande, Fiesta goes Hollywood, Flashback to the 60s, Go Green and Heroes – to name a few. Also the name change and promotion help from Ralph Edwards was only to be for 10 years, but after the 10 years, he kept coming back and continued helping with Fiesta into the mid 70s.
Hope you enjoy your adventure as much, if not more, as you did around TorC. I enjoy reading your reviews. Can’t wait to see where your travels take you.
PS – for those visiting TorC, definitely check out the link listed in this blog for info on the spas and everything else around the county – including an up to date calender of events. http://www.sierracountynewmexico.info/
Thanks so much for all those details! I didn’t know the theme changed each year
so that’s interesting news (I’ve updated the blog post to reflect your info on that).
Also, thanks so much for the trivia on Ralph Edwards. TorC is a great
little town with a wonderful and fun history!