When Elvis Met Nixon

Elvis-nixon-01-crop The picture of Elvis Presley’s meeting with Richard Nixon in 1970 is an iconic image, one of the most popular at the National Archives and long the source of much merchandising at the Nixon Library.

Keyed to the King’s 75th birthday, the Los Angeles Times’ Faye Fiore has an engaging backstory on what exactly led to the meeting, and what it was all about. Elvis came away from it an honorary federal agent to fight the war on drugs, along with some goodies from Nixon’s drawer of presidential trinkets, but the most startling revelation is that he got on an airplane and into the Oval Office carrying a loaded weapon.

Fiore writes of the disappointment that Elvis felt when Nixon was reluctant to give him an honorary badge.

“Elvis is crestfallen, visibly wilted under the weight of all that gold, a man who could have anything — cars, women, houses — except the one thing he wants most.

“Nixon takes one look at him and caves.

“Get him the badge.”

“Elvis is so excited he gives the president a big hug.”

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