The most requested photo in the National Archives is of Nixon and Elvis1
What do you suppose the most requested photo from the U.S. National Archives might be? Troops raising the American flag on Iwo Jima? That sailor kissing a random woman at the end of WWII? Nope. It's Richard Nixon shaking Elvis Presley's hand.
The meeting took place in the Oval Office on December 21, 1970 and the photo itself is pretty surreal. But the official meeting notes are somehow even more bizarre. Elvis comes across as more like a strange child showing off his collection of police badges than a rock star meeting with the president of the United States.
Elvis even takes some digs at the Beatles for being a "force for anti-American spirit." You really have to read the notes from the meeting below to understand just how strange it must've been to be in that room.
From the official meeting notes for the president's file:
The meeting opened with pictures taken of the President and Elvis Presley.
Presley immediately began showing the President his law enforcement paraphernalia including badges from police departments in California, Colorado and Tennessee. Presley indicated that he had been playing Las Vegas and the President indicated that he was aware of how difficult it is to perform in Las Vegas.
The President mentioned that he thought Presley could reach young people, and that it was important for Presley to retain his credibility. Presley responded that be did his thing by "just singing." He said that he could not get to the kids if he made a speech on the stage, that he had to reach them in his own way. The President nodded in agreement