On a flight from L.A. to Washington, D.C., on Dec. 21, 1970, Elvis wrote this letter to President Richard M. Nixon:
First I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you and Have Great Respect for your office. I talked to Vice President Agnew in Palm Springs a week ago and expressed my concern for our country. The Drug Culture, The Hippie Elements, the SDS, Black Panthers, etc do not consider me as their enemy or as they call it The Establishment. I call it America and I Love it. Sir I can and will be of any Service that I can to help the country out. I have no concerns or motives other than helping the country out. 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, and I will help out by doing it my way through my communications with people of all ages.
First and Foremost I am an entertainer but all I need is the Federal credentials. I am on the Plane with Sen. George Murphy and We have been discussing the problems that our country is faced with. Sir I am Staying at the Washington hotel [sic] Room 505-506-507. I have 2 men who work with me by the name of Jerry Schilling and Sonny West. I am registered under the name of Jon Burrows. I will be here for as long as it takes to get the credentials of a Federal Agent. I have done in depth study of Drug Abuse and Communist Brainwashing Techniques and I am right in the middle of the whole thing, where I can and will do the most good. I am Glad to help just so long as it is kept very Private. You can have your staff or whomever call me anytime today tonight or Tomorrow. I was nominated the coming year one of America’s Ten Most outstanding young men. That will be in January 18 in my Home Town of Memphis Tenn. I am sending you the short autobiography about myself so you can better understand this approach. I would love to meet you just to say hello if you’re not too busy.Respectfully,
When he landed in Washington, Elvis checked into the Hotel Washington across the street from the White House. He then delivered the letter to the White House. A 12:30 meeting was hurriedly scheduled for Elvis to meet President Nixon in the Oval Office.
At the meeting, Elvis made his pitch to the president to help him in his “drug drive” and to restore respect for the American flag. But what Elvis really wanted was a badge. Elvis had an abiding respect for law enforcement officials and had an extensive badge collection from his travels across the U.S. Elvis had become inflamed with the desire to be deputized by the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD). This obsession was the whole purpose for his spur-of-the-moment, cross-country flight to Washington, D.C.
After lunch in the White House mess and a tour of the White House, Elvis was presented with the BNDD badge by BNDD deputy director John Finlator at White House aide Bud Krogh’s office. Finlator promised to send along additional credentials.