December 1970 — Washington, D.C.
Elvis Presley shot to fame during the 1950s, a time when America’s classic values of family and morality were strong. His performances, with his hip-swinging moves, flew in the face of proper behavior. In many ways, he created rock-n-roll, but by the 1970s, the rock culture embodied protest, violence, and drugs. The Elvis of the 70s fell far behind the radical rock groups of the time, and Elvis himself openly disliked the new pop-culture, especially the drugs. Although he struggled with an addiction to prescription drugs, Elvis wanted to turn back the drug tide. In December 1970, Elvis wrote a letter to President Nixon offering his services as an undercover informer for the narcotics bureau. The men met and discussed ways Elvis’s influence could be of use. Many accused Elvis of simply “badge collecting,” but whatever his motives, Elvis was an all-American. Elvis used his music to promote America in a time when many sought to destroy it through violence and drugs.