"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Thursday, June 2, 2022

The History of Elvis' Graceland

Above, Graceland mansion in 2016. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This month marks 40 years since Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee was opened to the public.

It had been said that hadn't the mansion been opened to the public by Priscilla Presley, they would have had to sell it. Today, it welcomes thousands of visitors and is solely owned by Lisa Marie Presley. I have been to Graceland twice. The first was in 2001 and the second time was in 2016. During my 2016 visit, I stayed across the street from the mansion at the Graceland RV Park, then located behind the now-gone Heartbreak Hotel. I recommend it to RVers.

Above, my campsite at the Graceland RV Park & Campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal has posted a history (with plenty of trivia) on Graceland, which was so-named even before Elvis bought it.

They begin with:

Graceland opened to the public on June 7, 1982. 

That was 40 years ago.


Seems like a significant number.

When Elvis died on Aug. 16, 1977, he was only 42.

Elvis Presley at his piano inside Graceland in this 1965 photograph. Elvis had misgivings about allowing pictures to be made inside his home. "It's not that I don't want pictures," he said. "You know what I mean. Some people might think I am looking for publicity or trying to exploit my home. I certainly don't want anyone to think that."

He had lived at Graceland for 20 years. So, the house, in a way, has been home to Elvis' legacy for twice as long as it was home to Elvis.

How to tell the story of Graceland? Here's one way: 40 facts to mark that 40th anniversary. 

Actually, you'll find many more than 40 facts below. But the list is numbered 1 through 40, for the sake of symmetry and convenience. (In any case, math never was my strong suit; neither, according to his 6th-grade report card, was it Elvis'.)


Above, the den, now known as the Jungle Room. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To read more, go here

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