Being the king of rock and roll was apparently not enough for Elvis Presley.
He wanted a badge from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
He even wrote a letter to Richard Nixon in which he tried to convince the President to make him a honorary federal agent.
On December 21, 1970, Elvis showed up at the entrance gate of the White House and delivered a personal handwritten request to meet President Richard Nixon.
Only two days earlier, he had got into a fight with his wife Priscilla, and his father, Vernon about his lavish spending habits.
He spent over $100,000 on Christmas presents. The fight provoked him to leave Memphis, taking the next available flight which happened to be bound for Washington, D.C.
He arrived in Washington but changed his mind and went to L.A. The next day he changed his mind again and took a flight back to Washington.
On the same flight was the Senator of California, George Murphy. Elvis told Murphy that he must do something about the growing anti-American drug culture, so being entitled to a BNND badge would help him make a difference.
The Senator suggested Elvis to write to Nixon and offer his help. Elvis certainly liked the idea as he handwrote a letter to Nixon, introducing himself and wondering if the two of them could meet.
He delivered the letter to the White House on December 21, 1970.
In the letter, he offered his services in order to help the country.
Moreover, he added that although his only motive was providing help for the country, he wanted a little something in return.
“Sir, I can and will be of any service in order to help the country. I have no other concerns or motives rather than helping the country. So I wish not to be given a title or an appointed position. I can and will do more good if I were made a Federal Agent at Large. I will help by doing it my way, communicating with people of all ages.”
The meeting was arranged and Elvis showed up with a present for the President. It was World War II – era commemorative Colt .45.
Elvis showed the President his collection of police badges from various departments. According to the archives of that day:
“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. Then, the President pointed out that those who use drugs are the same people in the vanguard of anti-American protests. Violence, drug usage, dissent, protests- practically, all that seemed to merge in the same group of young people.”
Just as he wrote in the letter, Elvis then asked Nixon if he could get a narcotics bureau badge.
Nixon consulted his advisers and soon Elvis was told that he would become an Honorary Agent At Large. He hugged President Nixon and again assured him that he was on his side.
The meeting was kept secret until January 27, 1972, when The Washington Post broke the story.
The photo of Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley posing in the Oval Office is requested from the National Archives more than any other image.