"The Day Elvis Met Nixon," a first hand account of Elvis Presley’s historic meeting with President Nixon, has just been published by the Richard Nixon Foundation, on the eve of Elvis’s 76th (January 8) and President Nixon’s 98th (January 9) birthdays. Told through the eyes of Egil “Bud” Krogh, White House aide and liaison to the Drug Enforcement Administration, The Day Elvis Met Nixon is a trove of rare photos, original documents, and anecdotes from the December 21, 1970 encounter between the president and Elvis.
Krogh recounts the surprise of White House staffers when the King of Rock-n-Roll appeared at the front gates of the Executive Mansion to deliver a handwritten letter to the President.
For Elvis, the goal of the meeting was to receive a badge and credentials from the DEA as a “Federal Agent at Large,” contending that he could use his popularity among the youth to curb the nation’s narcotics epidemic.
Krogh tells how the Elvis meeting request moved up the White House chain of command, how it was approved, and how he arranged an agenda on such short notice.
At the meeting, Elvis presented the President with a gift, a silver-plated Colt 45 gun and bullets now on display at the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. Later the same afternoon, he received his badge from the DEA.
Today, the Oval Office photo of President Nixon and Elvis Presley continues to be the most requested photo from the National Archives.
“The meeting between Elvis and President Nixon remains in my mind the most novel and interesting,” writes Krogh. “While these two men came from totally different backgrounds, they tried to find ways to cooperate in responding to one of the most severe problems.”