“Mr. Schilling, this is Egil Krogh of the White House staff. The President has read Mr. Presley’s letter and would like to meet with him in thirty minutes.”
It’s a day in American history still talked about, 46 years later.
Elvis, without an invitation, got into the White House on December 21, 1970 and met with President Nixon.
The fact that he pulled it off is one thing. He had Nixon scrambling around, fumbling through an Oval Office desk trying to find mementos for his entourage. When the President did, Elvis looked at Nixon and said, “You know, sir, these men have wives.” The President responded, “Of course, let’s see what we can find for the ladies.” Here’s what is really strange about this often-told story. As famous as that encounter was, Jerry Schilling, who was also at that meeting, writes in his book, “Me and a Guy Named Elvis”:
”I found it a little curious that our recent trip to the White House hand managed to stay secret. ……The biggest summit meeting between the worlds of politics and rock and roll wouldn’t be reported on at all until it turned up in a Washington Post column almost a full year after it happened.”
Watch this video produced by Seth Swirsky who used the 26 photographs taken that morning by White House photographer, Oliver Atkins. The film also features a rare interview with Jerry Schilling, one of the main men in Elvis Presley’s ‘Memphis Mafia’, who was in the Oval Office that day.