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When Elvis met Nixon: The true story behind the gun, the badge, and the movie

Updated May 19, 2019; Posted Apr 23, 2016

By Joanna Connors, The Plain Dealer

The new movie, "Elvis & Nixon," tells the story of the meeting of the King and the President in the Oval Office on Dec. 21, 1970. This was before the installation of the taping system that ultimately brought down Nixon's presidency, so the scriptwriters imagined what might have happened during the meeting. But some records do exist. They tell the story of when Elvis met Nixon. It started with a scrawled letter on airline stationery, involved Elvis bringing a pistol to the White House, and ended with the singer getting a badge from the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Photo courtesy of National Archives

When Elvis met Nixon: The real story behind the movie

This is the most-requested photo in the National Archives, a snapshot of a surreal moment in presidential history.

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Elvis Colt 45 wwii-handgun---gift-to-nix