The William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock has been opened for almost a decade. It contains 76.8 million pages of paper documents, 1.85 million photographs, and 75,000 artifacts.
Included with all that important stuff are some pieces of Elvis memorabilia Clinton accumulated during his two terms in office. These items were mostly sent in by Clinton admirers who knew he was a lifetime fan of Elvis. In a 2002 newspaper article, Skip Rutherford, president of the Clinton Library Foundation, said, “Clinton… amassed a collection of several hundred Elvis items. We have [items] ranging from a dancing Elvis Telephone to CDs to salt and pepper shakers. You name it, we’ve got it.” He also said they had the famous Elvis swinging legs clock.
The Elvis factor at the Clinton Library took a big jump in the summer of 2011 when two new exhibits were presented. The first was the “Elvis at 21,” the outstanding display of iconic photos of Elvis taken in 1956 by Al Wertheimer.
At the same time, the Clinton Library featured “Elvis,” a large exhibit of Elvis memorabilia, much of it on loan from Graceland.
Of course, no Elvis exhibit is complete without a jumpsuit or two, but the Clinton Library had at least three.
Bill Clinton must have wanted to note the Elvis connection with other presidents. In addition to Jimmy Carter, the display also featured the famous Elvis and Nixon photo.
One of the more fun items on loan from Graceland is the red MG convertible Elvis drove in the movie Blue Hawaii.
Other movie items on display included lobby posters from Love Me Tender and Viva Las Vegas.
Viva Las Vegas was also represented by a red shirt from the movie and one of the original scripts.
Artwork of Elvis was abundant at the Clinton Library exhibit.
A large plaque explains Bill Clinton’s love for Elvis.
In a bit of pay-back, one of the new 2012 exhibits at Graceland will feature a Bill Clinton item. ICON: The Influence of Elvis Presley opened on March 1, and it contains one of Bill Clinton’s saxophones from the Library display.
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