Saturday, March 14, 2009

a day that will live in...?

was December 21, 1970, when Richard Nixon's secretary informed him that the "King" wished to see him immediately. Nixon reportedly expressed surprise that no state visit was noted on his calendar for the day. Turned out, it was not just a king, but The King. Elvis had showed up at the White House, unannounced and seriously stoned, with some urgent news for the president.

Elvis told Nixon that he had come to lend his name and support to Nixon's as-yet-unnamed "War on Drugs." "Mr. President," Elvis said, "I'm on your side. I want to be helpful. And I want to help get people to respect the flag because that's getting lost." Then Elvis got to the point. "Mr. President, can you get me a badge from the Narcotics Bureau?"

Presley was a collector of police badges. And he was a dopehound of legendary excess. ... And so it came to pass that on the day Elvis Presley died of a drug overdose in 1977, he was a credentialed Special Assistant in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. (In a show of appreciation, Elvis presented Nixon with the concealed pistol he was carrying.)

A photo was taken of the two shaking hands. It is the most popular postcard image at the Nixon Library. The pistol is also reportedly on disiplay there. What a world.

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