When Nixon Met Elvis

I know you’ve always had your eye on this photo of Elvis and me. — Mr. Burns

He was so good to his mother, sir. — Smithers, “Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk”

The year is 1970. 1971 is just a year away. 1972? Two years away. And a young man named Elvis Aron Presley is urgently requesting a meeting with the president:

I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office. I talked to Vice President Agnew in Palm Springs three weeks ago and expressed my concern for our country. The drug culture, the hippie elements, the SDS, Black Panthers, etc. do not consider me as their enemy or as they call it the establishment…

The good people over at archives.gov have assembled a comprehensive overview of this meeting of the minds, and I highly recommend investing ten minutes and reading over the various documents they’ve assembled. Here are a few highlights.

The gun Elvis presented to Nixon as a gift at their meeting:

Elvis’s thoughts on a certain mop-haired quartet (I seem to remember their off-key               caterwauling on the old Sullivan show…):

Presley indicated that he thought the Beatles had been a real force for anti-American spirit. He said that the Beatles came to this country, made their money, and then returned to England where they promoted an anti-American theme. The President nodded in agreement…

A less famous photo from the meeting that intrigues me in ways I can’t fully communicate:

And, finally, a clip from Elvis Meets Nixon, a vital TV movie adaptation of the meeting:

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6 Responses to When Nixon Met Elvis

  1. Brian Q. Lehmann says:

    Very cool! Do you happen to know who the other two men are in the last picture? They look kind of out of place in suits, like maybe they’re band members or fellow rock and or rollers?

  2. Pingback: ‘We Love You, Conrad’ | Springfield Historical Society @ mcgarnagle.com

  3. bellus says:

    Sonny West co-wrote a book called, “Elvis What Happened”. He worked for Elvis for many years, going on the road with him and even served as a body guard. West proved he was no friend when he wrote the book, which contained many inconsistencies and all out lies. Jerry Schilling, however, proved to be a true friend of Elvis’s and to this day remains close friends with both Lisa Marie and Priscilla. Elvis once bought Jerry a beautiful contemporary home in California that Jerry still owns to this very day. Jerry has done many interviews regarding Elvis and has also written a book of his own. His book is very different from that of the other so-called friends. I respect Jerry’s enduring love and dedication to Elvis and his memory. As a side note, Jerry also married one of Elvis’s backup singers, Myrna Smith. Back in the day interracial marriage was not accepted so the union was not widely publicized. At one point Jerry and Myrna lived at Graceland with Elvis. They eventually divorced, but when Elvis died they were reunited for a time. Myrna recently passed away. Jerry continues to show his true dediction ot Elvis and his family.

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