The President and the King
One of the most anecdotal episodes in the life of Elvis Presley. The visit to the White House on December 21, 1970 and his meeting with Richard Nixon. After his concert tour in November and a few days off, Elvis was at his best moment. His tour had been an absolute success and critics would be unanimous in their praise for him. In addition, he had been notified (unofficially) that he had been nominated as one of the "Ten Most Remarkable Young Men in the Nation." They finally recognized his work as an artist, as a singer and he was happy. It was a time to give gifts, to celebrate, and above all, he was fully immersed in his new hobby: weapons and federal insignia. He had spent a lot, in excess, so the bills piled up in his father Vernon's office, who He went to reproach him for his attitude. Priscilla, his wife who heard everything that was happening, also told him that she was spending a lot of money.
Elvis was upset by all this, he felt very offended because he understood that he was the one who earned this money. He wouldn't accept any argument for this, so he eventually got angry, to the point of walking out the door and disappearing. It wasn't the first time he'd done it, but he usually came back in an hour or two, but not this time. Everyone was waiting for him to return and would be worried because there was no news of his whereabouts. The reason was that he normally never went alone and it was the first time that they didn't know what to do. Elvis went to the airport and, with no clear direction, took the first plane that left for Washington.
There he simply rode around the city in a limousine, with the intention of visiting his friend Joyce Bova, but it could not be so, so he took the plane back. Jerry Schilling his friend from the Mafia who was working in Los Angeles, received a call from Elvis who was in Dallas, on his way back to Los Angeles from Washington D.C. He needed his help and asked him to pick him up at the airport and find Gerald Peters, his new limo driver. Elvis called him "Sir Gerald" because he was Winston Churchill's driver. He had no luggage, just a small box with a comb, toothbrush, and his face was swollen because he had an allergic reaction to a medication he took for an eye infection. , in addition to having eaten chocolate on the plane. Jerry called a doctor when they got to the Hillcrest house, who treated him to get the swelling to go away, they spent the night there. The next morning Elvis told Jerry that he wanted to go back to Washington, but he didn't explain why. On the plane to the city, Elvis learned that Republican Senator George Murphy was also traveling. He went over to talk to him, and when he returned with Jerry, he asked for American Airlines stationery to write a letter he wanted to deliver to President Nixon. Jerry thought that he had gone crazy, but upon reading the letter he would understand the value and purpose of it. They stayed at the Washington Hotel, Elvis wanted to be incognito so he stayed under the name of Jon Burrows. Jerry called Graceland and contacted Sonny to explain that Elvis was fine, but with a promise not to give away anything about this trip. Once checked into the hotel, Elvis decided what he wanted to do. In the letter he wrote to Nixon, he explained that he wanted to help his country. He told her of his concern and his love for his homeland. He expressed his admiration for his position as president and explained that he had studied the culture of drugs, their use and communist brainwashing techniques... As an artist he told him that they did not consider him an enemy of young people , of the hippies and for this reason it was easy for him to be able, in a discreet way, to defend and serve his country as a federal agent. But in a natural way, communicating with people of all ages and as an artist reaching out to everyone as an example. He finally asked him for the official credentials to be able to exercise his position.
He wanted to meet him and in a humble way he told him that he had a gift for him, and said goodbye with their contact numbers to locate him at the hotel. Elvis wanted Richard Nixon, the president of the United States, to grant him a federal badge to add to his collection . He decided that he should deliver it personally, so they showed up at the door of the White House.
The episode was anecdotal with the guards, who finally agreed to deliver the letter to the president. Egil Krogh, who was the president's deputy attorney, called them to the Hotel so that they could finally have that meeting in the Oval Office of the White House. Although Nixon in In the first place, he would not show much interest, he understood that as an artist Elvis Presley could be of great influence on the youth and he agreed to meet him. Elvis, Jerry and Sonny West, who had arrived from Memphis, entered the White House to meet the president of the United States. As was the custom, Elvis carried weapons in the control l from the entrance, which complicated things a bit at the entrance control. (He also happened to him at the Airport but his fame was the best safe-conduct for him, because he flew with his weapons). In addition, he wanted to give the president a Colt 45 from the Second World War and he carried it in a box.
The meeting was very special between the two. Elvis won over the president by showing him his insignia, family photos of him and with the gift he gave him. But also his personality did the rest. Everything he wrote in that letter, his patriotism, his desire to fight drugs, etc. He cited the Beatles as an unpatriotic example, and Nixon said that drug users were in the forefront of anti-American protest. He convinced Nixon to finally give him his plaque and to the surprise of Jerry and Sonny to give them the honor of meet him in person. Although many believe that all this was intentional, Elvis really intended to see Joyce Bova with whom he had had a history for a long time and, after his visit to the president, he was able to have that other meeting with her, despite that she had been angry with him recently. Elvis could convince and get anything he wanted. The reality of all this, despite wanting to have a plate for his collection, was that of the background of a noble man, proud of his country, who wanted above all to reach people with his music and help build a better world. The boy from Tupelo who wanted to become a great actor, a singer... he would finally try to give everything for his homeland. So was Elvis Presley .
"Following the Way of the King..."