Elvis Meets Nixon

Richad Nixon meets Elvis Presley at the White House, December 21, 1970
Richad Nixon meets Elvis Presley at the White House, December 21, 1970

Historical Context

Elvis Presley's famous meeting with US President Richard Nixon came out of bizarre desire on Presley's behalf to get a badge from the US Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. His wife Priscilla later wrote that with a badge Presley thought he could "legally enter any country both wearing guns and carrying any drugs he wished.”

So it was that Presley wrote to Nixon " I can and will do more good if I were made a Federal Agent at Large and I will help out by doing it my way through my communications with people of all ages. First and foremost, I am an entertainer, but all I need is the Federal credentials." He concluded by saying he would love to meet the President.

The letter made its way to Nixon's aides and the meeting went ahead. Despite the obvious differences between the two, or because of them, the men got along well during their meeting - though Nixon apparently found it slightly awkward - and Presley's request for a badge was granted.

During the meeting Presley said he felt The Beatles exemplified an anti-American nature (though this didn't stop him performing Beatles songs in concert, nor from meeting them years earlier) - Paul McCartney later said he felt "betrayed" by Presley's comment.

Photo Info


Photographer: Ollie Atkins
Date taken: December 21, 1970
Location taken: Washington DC, USA

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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