In 1950, a little town in New Mexico named Hot Springs apparently had a lot of residents that listened to NBC Radio. The quiz show Truth or Consequences had promised that it would air the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Hot Springs won the honor, officially renaming itself Truth or Consequences on March 31, 1950 and hosting the show on April 1. To this day, there is a festival called “Fiesta” to honor the occasion that includes a beauty contest, a parade and a dance (in the park named after the host of Truth or Consequences, Ralph Edwards).
There is indeed a storied history of American towns getting creative with their names. Halfway, Oregon changed its name in 1999 to Half.com, an e-commerce start-up and later subsidiary of eBay that, in exchange for the name change, provided the town $110,000, 20 computers for its school and other financial considerations. If they only knew what was to come.
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