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The President of the United States Meets the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Letter

This exhibit looks behind the scenes at Elvis Presley’s December 21, 1970, visit to Richard Nixon’s White House through the examination of White House memos, documents, firsthand accounts, and photographs. This exhibit was curated by White House Historical Association historian Lina Mann.

Around 6:30 a.m. on December 21, 1970, after taking a red eye flight from Los Angeles, Elvis Presley appeared at the northwest gate of the White House with a six-page letter, written on American Airlines stationary. He handed the letter to a guard, requesting a short meeting with the president to deliver a “personal gift.” Presley instructed the White House to contact him at The Washington Hotel, where he was staying under the name Jon Burrows. His letter included several unusual requests. He wanted to be made a “Federal Agent at Large” and to help curb American drug abuse and other problems.

Below is the transcription of Presley’s letter to President Nixon.