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Elvis Presley: Encountering Societal Problems, Exploring Philanthropic Solutions, Making a Difference

  • Elvis is Born

    Elvis is Born
    Gladys Presley gives birth to twins Jessie Garon (stillborn) and Elvis Aaron in Tupelo, Mississippi. 1937, Graceland Archives
  • Period: to

    Elvis Presley: Encountering Societal Problems, Exploring Philanthropic Solutions, Making a Difference

  • The Presleys Move to Memphis

    The Presleys Move to Memphis
    Elvis and his Parents pack up their belongings and move to Memphis, Tennessee. 1945, Getty Images
  • Sun Studio

    Sun Studio
    Elvis stops by Memphis Recording Service and records an acetate (or record) of “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” 2016, Sun Studios
  • That's All Right

    That's All Right
    After receiving a call from a local guitarist Scotty Moore and bass player Bill Black, Elvis meets them at Memphis Recording Service for a session with Sun Records producer Sam Phillips. After attempting songs that do not spark Sam’s interest, the group takes a break. During the break, Elvis launches into a sped-up version of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s “That’s All Right.” Sam Phillips hears what he has been looking for. He records their version of “That’s All Right” as Elvis’ first single.
  • The Beginning of Elvis' Career

    The Beginning of Elvis' Career
    Elvis stops by Memphis Recording Service
    and signs his first contract with RCA Records. 1955, Memphis Music Hall of Fame
  • The Ed Sullivan Show

    The Ed Sullivan Show
    Elvis appears on the Ed Sullivan show, and gets vaccinated with the Salk Polio Vaccine. 1956, Elvis Presley Music
  • Memphis Driver-Education

    On November 5, 1956, Elvis made a non-performance appearance in Memphis supporting a new driver-education program.
  • Elvis Makes His Third and Final Appearance

    Elvis Makes His Third and Final Appearance
    Elvis makes his third and final appearance on Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town, where he is only shown from the waist up. Ed Sullivan himself diffuses some of the controversy surrounding Elvis by telling the studio audience and millions of TV viewers, “This is a decent, fine boy... We want to say we have never had a more pleasanter experience with a big name than we’ve had with you.” 1957, Elvis Presley Music
  • Elvis Buys Graceland

    Elvis Buys Graceland
    Elvis purchases the Graceland Mansion in Memphis for $102,500. Image courtesy of Graceland.
  • Shower of Stars

    In June 1957, Elvis appeared on stage with hospital benefactor Danny Thomas at the “Shower of Stars” benefit show at Russwood Park in Memphis. 1960, Quincy St. Jude Run
  • The U.S. Army

    The U.S. Army
    Elvis arrives at the Memphis Draft Board and is inducted into the U.S. Army. Accompanied by his parents, Elvis reports to the Memphis Draft Board. He is assigned serial number 53 310 761. After his physical, Elvis is put in charge of the group and they are put on a bus to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. At Fort Chaffee, Elvis receives his famous GI haircut. He then travels to Fort Hood, Texas, where he goes through basic training and remains on duty there for six months. 1958, Time & Life Pictures
  • Elvis Supports the Red Cross

    Elvis Supports the Red Cross
    Elvis joined fellow soldiers in donating blood to the German Red Cross. 1959, Elvis Echoes of the Past.
  • USS Arizona

    USS Arizona
    Elvis arrives in Hawaii to perform a benefit concert at Bloch Arena for the building of the USS Arizona Memorial. Upon arrival in Hawaii, hundreds of fans mob the airport. Elvis holds a press conference before the evening concert at Bloch Arena. Proceeds from the concert go to help fund the building of the USS Arizona Memorial. The show raises around $62,000 for the memorial. Elvis helps bring publicity, public awareness and support to the project. 1961, Elvis Collectors
  • The Potomac

    The Potomac
    Elvis purchased Franklin Roosevelt’s yacht, the Potomac, for $55,000 and presented it to Danny Thomas to be auctioned off, with benefits going to St. Jude’s Hospital. 1964, Graceland Archives.
  • Motion Picture Reief Fund

    Motion Picture Reief Fund
    Frank Sinatra and Barbara Stanwyck thanked Elvis in a special ceremony for his $50,000 donation to the “Motion Picture Relief Fund.” 1965, Elvis: The King's Court Forum
  • Memphis Charities

    Elvis donated checks totaling $105,000 to various Memphis charities.
  • Elvis Marries Priscilla Beaulieu

    Elvis Marries Priscilla Beaulieu
    Elvis and Priscilla are married in a private ceremony at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas.
  • Elvis Presley Day

    September 29, 1967 was declared “Elvis Presley Day” by Memphis Mayor William Ingram and Tennessee Governor Buford Ellington in recognition of the King’s many charitable contributions. A massive wooden plaque was given to Elvis by the City of Memphis in recognition for his contributions to more than 50 local charities.
  • Memphis Jewish Community Center

    Elvis pledged $10,500 to the Memphis Jewish Community Center Building Fund and paid a $2,500 installment.
  • Lisa Marie Presley is Born

    Lisa Marie Presley is Born
    Priscilla gives birth to Lisa Marie Presley. 1968, Associated Press
  • Elvis Airs on NBC

    Elvis Airs on NBC
    Elvis airs on NBC and becomes one of the biggest television hits of the year. The television special opens with Elvis singing a new version of “Trouble,” from his 1958 film King Creole, before moving into “Guitar Man,” which becomes the underlying theme of the show. The special also featured Elvis on stage in the round, reunited with two of his original 1950s band members, Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana, for an informal session of singing, jamming and swapping stories. 1968, NBC
  • Helping LA Police

    Helping LA Police
    Elvis contributed $7,000 to the Los Angeles Police community relations program. 1970, Metropolitan News-Enterprise
  • Elvis Meets Nixon

    Elvis Meets Nixon
    Elvis Presley arrived at the northwest gate of the White House at 11:45 with for his meeting with President Nixon. Nixon Aide Egil Krogh met Presley and his bodyguards and led them to the Oval Office reception area. At 12:30 Krogh and Presley joined the President in his office. Krogh was present throughout the entire meeting and made detailed notes of what was said. 1970, National Archives
  • One of Ten Oustanding Young Men

    One of Ten Oustanding Young Men
    Elvis receives an award as One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. The national honor has been awarded each year since the late 1930s and recognizes young men who have made great achievements in their field of endeavor, illustrating the opportunities available in the free enterprise system. 1971, Graceland Archives
  • Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii

    Elvis makes television and entertainment history with his Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii – Via Satellite special. Performed at the Honolulu International Center Arena, the show is broadcast live at 12:30 a.m. Hawaiian time, via Globecam Satellite to Australia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, South Vietnam and other countries. It is seen on a delayed basis in around 30 European countries, with a tape of the show airing in the U.S. on April 4 on NBC.
  • How Great Thou Art

    Elvis’ live recording of “How Great Thou Art” wins the Grammy for Best Inspirational Performance.
  • Elvis dies

    Elvis dies
    Elvis passes away at Graceland. 1977, The Sun