These meeting notes were compiled in the form of a memorandum for the President’s File by Nixon aide, Bud Krogh, after the conclusion of President Nixon’s meeting with Elvis.
The notes describe what took place during the meeting and the points of discussion that were raised during the meeting.
TRANSCRIPTION OF THE MEETING NOTES
THE WHITE HOUSE
December 21, 1970
MEMORANDUM FOR: THE PRESIDENT’S FILE
SUBJECT: Meeting with Elvis Presley
Monday, December 21, 1970
12: 30 p. m.
The meeting opened with pictures taken of the President and Elvis Presley.
Presley immediately began showing the President his law enforcement para-
phernalia including badges from police departments in California, Colorado
and Tennessee. Presley indicated that he had been playing Las Vegas and
the President indicated that he was aware of how difficult it is to perform
in Las Vegas.
The President mentioned that he thought Presley could reach young people,
and that it was important for Presley to retain his credibility. Presley re-
sponded that be did his thing by “just singing.” He said that he could not
get to the kids if he made a speech on the stage, that he had to reach them
in his own way. The President nodded in agreement.
Presley indicated that he thought the Beatles had been a real force for anti-
American spirit. He said that the Beatles came to this country, made their
money, and then returned to England where they promoted an anti-American
theme. The President nodded in agreement and expressed some surprise.
The President then indicated that those who use drugs are also those in the
vanguard of anti-American protest. Violence, drug usage, dissent, protest
all seem to merge in generally the same group of young people.
Presley indicated to the President in a very emotional manner that he was
“on your side.” Presley kept repeating that he wanted to be helpful, that
he wanted to restore some respect for the flag which was being lost. He
mentioned that he was just a poor boy from Tennessee who had gotten a lot
from his country, which in some way he wanted to repay. He also mentioned
that he is studying Communist brainwashing and the drug culture for over
ten years. He mentioned that he knew a lot about this and was accepted by
the hippies. He said he could go right into a group of young people or hippies
and be accepted which he felt could be helpful to him in his drug drive. The
President indicated again his concern that Presley retain his credibility.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Presley again told the President how
much he supported him, and then, in a surprising, spontaneous gesture,
put his left arm around the President and hugged him.
In going out, Presley asked the President if he would see his two associates.
The President agreed and they came over and shook hands with the
President briefly. At this meeting, the President thanked them for their
efforts and again mentioned his concern for Presley’s credibility.
/s/ Bud Krogh
Nixon Meeting Notes
Citation: Memorandum for the President’s File from Egil “Bud” Krogh, Re: Meeting with Elvis Presley, 21 December 1970
For More Information Please See:
Part of the White House Central Subject Files
The Subject Files Finding Aid, Health boxes (EX HE 5-1)