Cool stuff from the National Archives: When Elvis met Nixon
America is an eccentric place, full of eccentric people. Need proof? Check out this factoid from George Washington University's website: "Of all the requests made each year to the National Archives for reproductions of photographs and documents, one item has been requested more than any other. That item, more requested than the Bill of Rights or even the Constitution of the United States, is the photograph of Elvis Presley and Richard M. Nixon shaking hands on the occasion of Presley's visit to the White House." On December 21, 1970, Elvis visited Nixon at the White House. The two had never met before. On a flight, Elvis wrote Nixon a rambling six-page letter (on American Airlines stationery) requesting a visit with the President and suggesting that he be made a "Federal Agent-at-Large" in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (ironic, considering Elvis's later problems with pills). He presented this letter in person, unannounced, to Nixon's bewildered staff who arranged for a quick meeting with an even more bewildered Nixon. At the meeting, Elvis told Nixon what an admirer of his he was and mentioned that he had been studying communist brainwashing and the drug culture for 10 years. He also condemned the Beatles, and presented Nixon with a gift: a Colt 45 pistol that Presley brought with him to the Oval Office. Nixon presented Elvis with a phony-baloney badge of some sort that the White House staff had hurriedly put together which brought Elvis to tears. A White House photographer recorded the event and Elvis, being Elvis, left the building. And for once in his life, Richard Nixon was not the weirdest fellow in the room. To order a copy of the Elvis-Nixon photo of your very own from the National Archives, click here: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/nixon-met-elvis/assets/doc_citations_transcript.html.
This blog is devoted to old fashioned American roadside attractions... the wonderfully big, bizarre, crazy, wacky, quirky, weird, funny, unique and mundane sites you see travelling cross-country by car in the USA, where getting there really is all the fun!