Saturday marks the 97th birthday of President Nixon, and the day before that is the momentous 75th anniversary of the day that Elvis Aron Presley (and, briefly, his twin brother Jesse Garon) entered this world. At the end of the year, four days before Christmas, will come the 40th anniversary of the celebrated meeting of the two in the Oval Office.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7 pm, at the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, Nixon Presidential Library director Timothy Naftali will host “We Were There When Nixon Met Elvis.” Egil “Bud” Krogh, who arranged the President’s meeting with the King in his capacity as White House liason with the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (Elvis sought the meeting for the purpose of discussing what role he could play in the war on drugs) and Jerry Schilling, who was a member of Elvis’s inner circle (aka the Memphis Mafia) from the mid-1950s until Presley’s death, will talk about their eyewitness memories of that event, which produced a photograph reported to be, even now, the most frequently requested image in the history of the Archives.
Almost simultaneously, at 6:30 pm at the Busboys & Poets cafe at 2021 14th Street NW in Washington, Len Colodny (co-author of the bestselling Watergate expose Silent Coup) and Tom Shachtman will discuss their new history of American foreign policy in the Nixon, Reagan, and (both) Bush eras, The Forty Years War. But interested readers do not necessarily have to flip a coin; the next day, also at 6:30, Colodny and Shachtman will talk about their book in an event sponsored by the World Affairs Council at UCDC Washington Center at 1608 Rhode Island Avenue NW; this event is also being taped by C-SPAN for broadcast on Book TV. All three events are free and open to the public, although the World Affairs Council site advises obtaining reservations beforehand at this link.