Monday, January 08, 2007

Great Moments In American History


Thankyou. Thankyouverymuch.

This isn't exactly newsworthy, but it's something that's always tickled me.
The meeting between two of the most improbable cultural icons of the 1970s lasted all of 30 minutes, but it has fascinated the nation for years.

A photo of a cloaked and bejeweled Elvis Presley solemnly shaking hands with a grim-faced President Nixon remains the No. 1 requested document from the National Archives, nearly four decades after the secret meeting took place on Dec. 21, 1970.

Now, on what would be the King's 72nd birthday, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Birthplace is giving the curious public a good, long look at the relics of the coming together of The King and The President -- and it's got Elvis fans all shook up.

The free exhibit Monday includes the outfit Elvis wore (a black velvet overcoat, a gold-plated belt and black leather boots); Nixon's outfit (a gray woolen suit, tie and size 11 1/2 black shoes); letters; and a World War II .45-caliber Colt revolver that Elvis gave to Nixon.

''The two of them together somehow is almost incomprehensible,'' said Bud Krogh, Nixon's former deputy counsel who set up the impromptu meeting that day 36 years ago. ''The king of rock and the president of the United States shaking hands in the Oval Office doesn't compute for a lot of people.''

The chain of events that led to the meeting began when a stretch limousine carrying Elvis pulled up outside the White House. One of his guards handed over a letter from Elvis addressed to Nixon requesting a meeting to discuss how the rock star could help Nixon fight drugs -- including getting credentials as a ''federal agent at large.''

''I will be here as long as it takes to get the credentials of a Federal Agent,'' Elvis wrote. ''I have done an in-depth study of drug abuse and Communist brainwashing techniques and I am right in the middle of the whole thing where I can and will do the most good.''

(...)

About 2 1/2 hours later, Elvis walked into the Oval Office wearing his flamboyant outfit, as well as sunglasses and two huge medallions....

Elvis and Nixon talked for about 30 minutes, during which Elvis showed Nixon pictures of his daughter and a pair of cufflinks given to him by Spiro Agnew. He also showed Nixon police badges from around the country and asked again for a badge from the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

(...)

''Oh man, we were set up! But it was fun,'' said Krogh. ''He said all the right words about trying to do the right thing and I took him at his word, but I think he clearly wanted to get a badge and he knew the only way he was going to get it.''

There's really nothing I can add to this.

1 comment:

Jenny from the Blog said...

OK. That's hilarious. ;)