Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Elvis Presley found dead on August 16, 1977

Elvis Presley was found dead lying on the floor in his bathroom by his girlfriend Ginger Alden, he had been seated on the toilet reading 'The Scientific Search For Jesus'. He died of heart failure at the age of 42 on August 16, 1977.

Elvis Presley

Journalist Tony Scherman writes that by early 1977, "Elvis Presley had become a grotesque caricature of his sleek, energetic former self. Hugely overweight, his mind dulled by the pharmacopoeia he daily ingested, he was barely able to pull himself through his abbreviated concerts." In Alexandria, Louisiana, the singer was on stage for less than an hour and "was impossible to understand". Elvis Presley failed to appear in Baton Rouge; he was unable to get out of his hotel bed, and the rest of the tour was cancelled. Despite the accelerating deterioration of his health, he stuck to most touring commitments. In Rapid City, South Dakota, "he was so nervous on stage that he could hardly talk", according to Elvis Presley historian Samuel Roy, and unable to "perform any significant movement." Guralnick relates that fans "were becoming increasingly voluble about their disappointment, but it all seemed to go right past Elvis Presely, whose world was now confined almost entirely to his room and his spiritualism books." A cousin, Billy Smith, recalled how Presley would sit in his room and chat for hours, sometimes recounting favorite Monty Python sketches and his own past escapades, but more often gripped by paranoid obsessions that reminded Smith of Howard Hughes. "Way Down", Elvis Presley's last single issued during his lifetime, came out on June 6. His final concert was held in Indianapolis at the Market Square Arena, on June 26.

A long, ground-level gravestone reads "Elvis Aaron Presley", followed by the singer's dates, the names of his parents and daughter, and several paragraphs of smaller text. It is surrounded by flowers, a small American flag, and other offerings. Similar grave markers are visible on either side. In the background is a small round pool, with a low decorative metal fence and several fountains.

The book Elvis: What Happened?, cowritten by the three bodyguards fired the previous year, was published on August 1. It was the first exposé to detail Presley's years of drug misuse. He was devastated by the book and tried unsuccessfully to halt its release by offering money to the publishers. By this point, he suffered from multiple ailments—glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage, and an enlarged colon, each aggravated, and possibly caused, by drug abuse.

Elvis Presley was scheduled to fly out of Memphis on the evening of August 16, 1977, to begin another tour.

That afternoon, Alden discovered him unresponsive on his bathroom floor. Attempts to revive him failed, and death was officially pronounced at 3:30 pm at Baptist Memorial Hospital.

President Jimmy Carter issued a statement that credited Presley with having "permanently changed the face of American popular culture". Thousands of people gathered outside Graceland to view the open casket. One of Presley's cousins, Billy Mann, accepted $18,000 to secretly photograph the corpse; the picture appeared on the cover of the National Enquirer's biggest-selling issue ever.[252] Alden struck a $105,000 deal with the Enquirer for her story, but settled for less when she broke her exclusivity agreement. Presley left her nothing in his will.

Elvis Presley funeral was held at Graceland, on Thursday, August 18.

Outside the gates, a car plowed into a group of fans, killing two women and critically injuring a third. Approximately 80,000 people lined the processional route to Forest Hill Cemetery, where Presley was buried next to his mother. Within a few days, "Way Down" topped the country and UK pop charts. Following an attempt to steal the singer's body in late August, the remains of both Elvis Presley and his mother were reburied in Graceland's Meditation Garden on October 2.

Retro History for August The 50s 60s 70s 80s

Retro History For The Decade 1980

1989 Roger Kingdom of USA sets 110m hurdle record (12.92) in Zurich
1988 Butch Reynolds runs world record 400 m (43.29)
1988 IBM introduces software for artificial intelligence
1988 Jailed black nationalist Nelson Mandela struck with tuberculosis
1988 Mayor Koch says he plans to wipe out street-corner windshield washers
1987 Astrological Harmonic Convergence - Dawn of New Age
1987 New York Mets beat Chicago Cubs, 23-9
1987 Northwest Airlines 255 plane crashes in Detroit, 156 die (1 lives)
1987 Val Skinner wins LPGA MasterCard International Golf Pro-Am
1986 Sudan rebels shoot a Fokker's F-27 down, 57 killed
1986 "Papa Don't Preach," goes #1 for 2 weeks
1986 Madonna's "True Blue," album goes #1 for 5 weeks and her single
1985 Madonna weds Sean Penn on her 27th birthday
1984 Andrea Doria's safe opened
1984 L.A. federal jury acquits auto maker John DeLorean on cocaine charges
1984 Largest harness racing purse ($2,161,000-Nihilator wins $1,080,500)
1983 Paul Simon weds Carrie Fisher
1981 Highest score in World Cup soccor match (New Zealand-13, Fiji-0)
1981 Jan Stephenson wins LPGA Mary Kay Golf Classic
1981 Mary Terstegge Meagher swims world record 100m butterfly (57.93)
1980 Bill Ward quits Black Sabbath
1980 Cozy Powell quits Rainbow
1980 Jools Holland quits Squeeze

Retro History For The Decade 1970

1977 U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1977 Yankees blow 9-4 lead in 9th but beat Chicago 11-10 in bottom of 9th
1977 Elvis Presley was found dead lying on the floor in his bathroom by his girlfriend Ginger Alden, he had been seated on the toilet reading 'The Scientific Search For Jesus'. He died of heart failure at the age of 42.
1976 58th PGA Championship: Dave Stockton shoots a 281 at Congressional MD
1976 St. Louis Cardinals beat San Diego Chargers 20-10 in Tokyo (NFL expo)
1975 "Rodgers and Hart" closes at Helen Hayes Theater New York City after 108 performances
1975 Peter Gabriel quits Genesis
1974 Ramones concert debut (NY's CBGBs)
1972 54th PGA Championship: Gary Player shoots a 281 at Oakland Hills, Michigan
1972 Morocco King Hassan II's B727 shot at
1972 Philip Potter appointed Secretary-General of World council of Churches
1972 U.S.S.R. performs nuclear test at Semipalitinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan U.S.S.R.
1970 52nd PGA Championship: Dave Stockton shoots 279 at Southern Hills OK
1970 Betsy Rawls wins LPGA Cincinnati Golf Open

Retro History For The Decade 1960

1969 WATL TV channel 36 in Atlanta, Georgia begins broadcasting
1969 Woodstock rock festival begins in New York
1967 Cincinnati Red Jim Maloney retires 19 Pirates, then gets injured and leaves
1967 WFIQ TV channel 36 in Florence, AL (PBS) begins broadcasting
1965 AFL awards its 1st expansion franchise (Miami Dolphins)
1964 Ruth Jessen wins LPGA Omaha Jaycee Golf Open Invitational
1964 St. Louis Card Curt Flood gets 8 straight hits in a doubleheader
1963 Independence is restored to Dominican Republic
1962 Ringo Starr replaces Pete Best as Beatle drummer
1961 250,000 West Berliners demonstrate against East Berlin
1961 Martin L. King protests for black voting right in Miami
1960 Britain grants independence to crown colony of Cyprus
1960 Joseph Kittinger parachutes from balloon at 31,330 m (84,700')
1960 Republic of Congo (Zaire, Dem Rep of Congo) forms

Retro History For The Decade 1950

1959 Betsy Rawls wins LPGA Seattle Golf Open
1959 U.S.S.R. introduces installment buying
1956 Adlai E. Stevenson nominated as Democratic presidential candidate
1956 Indians' Rocky Colavito hits his 1st grand slam, Cleveland 5, Tigers 4
1955 Fiat Motors orders 1st private atomic reactor
1954 Sports Illustrated magazine begins publishing
1954 200 pilgrims drown in Farahzad Iran rain storm flood
1953 KTAL TV channel 6 in Shreveport-Texarkana, LA (NBC) begins
1953 Shah of Persia and princess Soraya flee to Baghdad and Rome
1950 West Indies complete historic 3-1 series win against England

Have a groovy vintage retro day!

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