Elvis "birthplace" home in Tupelo, Mississippi gets a facelift. The most significant landmark of Tupelo's modern history is Elvis Presley's two-room house where he was born on January 8, 1935. The city is also home to the Tupelo Automobile Museum, Tupelo Buffalo Park, two area National Battlefield sites, the Oren Dunn City Museum and the Natchez Trace Parkway headquarters. Guests can also enjoy performing arts through ballet & art exhibitions.
Elvis Presley's hometown was recovering Tuesday from the beating it took from a rash of deadly tornadoes that tore through the nation's midsection
and killed 31.
At least one of the nine Mississippi victims was reported in Tupelo, where hundreds of homes were flattened, trees were shredded and a quarter of the city was left in the
dark after power lines were downed, officials said.
Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre said emergency crews were going house to house and picking through the wreckage in search of the living and the dead.
Elvis' birthplace on the Old Saltillo Road, East Tupelo
Gladys always believed Elvis was an identical twin
(his brother Jessie Garon died at birth)
and raised Elvis to believe this as well, which led him to comment throughout his life that he always
felt emptiness in his life where his brother should have been. This trauma bonded Elvis and Gladys. Mother and son were devoted
to each another to the extreme. The Presleys were poor as any white Southerners could be. Vernon worked as a sharecropper,
Gladys at the Tupelo Garment Co as a machine operator. Vernon was not an ambitious man, considered lazy, and for a time spent 18
months at Parchman Penitentiary for cheque forgery.
Tupelo Mississippi home in 1949
Elvis Presley Interior Tupelo Home Today
Presley birthplace: Tupelo was a dirt-poor town in the deep South. The sharecroppers and laborers, whites and blacks alike, all
sought refuse from their misery through religion. It was in church, Elvis first heard music, Gospel music, and this
Southern-style expression in song would remain the strongest influence on Elvis' music till the very end. Although pitifully
poor, Elvis's mother saw to it that her only surviving child would have the best of what little money could buy. For his 10th
birthday, she bought him a guitar. At first little Elvis objected - he had wanted a cap gun. Maybe that's the reason in later life,
when money was no object Elvis had a fascination and collected firearms. Later, with the help of uncle Vester, Elvis learned to
play the guitar, well enough to accompany himself singing OLD SHEP. A family friend, Mississippi Slim, encouraged Elvis' guitar
playing by teaching him additional chords - sharps and flats. According to Slim, Elvis was an attentive student, but was not a
Tupelo's City Council authorised improvements to Elvis Presley birthplace
in Mississippi and agreed to accept the work as a donation to the city. The proposed expansion of the gift shop at the museum and improvements to the
restrooms are expected to cost $100,000.
It will cost
the city nothing as members of the Elvis Presley birthplace board have guaranteed
repayment of a 10-year loan to cover the costs. The work will involve extending the south end of the museum and gift center
20 feet. "The most pressing need ... is upgrading of the rest rooms," admits Donna Kaye Randle, board secretary of the Elvis
Presley Memorial Foundation of Tupelo.
The changes would increase traffic through the gift shop, and the additional space, a higher ceiling and more use of glass
should also enhance gift shop marketing, said Donna. The Elvis Presley Foundation members
believe increasing visitation to the center will be based on attracting more tour buses. The improvements will be needed to
accommodate such tours. As yet no date for completing of the expansion has been set.
Name: Elvis Aron Presley: born in
Tupelo, Mississippi at 4:35 AM January 8, 1935 during The Great Depression. Times
were hard everywhere, but especially in the rural South. The national average annual salary was $1,368 unemployment was 25%
Milk was 14cents a quart & bread 9cents a loaf. To escape the dire circumstances people amused themselves with board games
like the new Parker Brothers game Monopoly, and by reading mystery novels by such writers as Agatha Christie and
Raymond Chandler. Another pastime was listening to the radio.
On the radio in the 1930's were comedians Jack Benny, George Burns/Gracie Allen, and Fibber McGee and
Molly. Dramatic radio serials
featuring The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet &The Shadow kept listeners enthralled. The
music was that of the Big Bands were Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington &Tommy Dorsey as well as the folk songs of
performers Woody Gutherie. George Gershwin, Cole Porter & Irving Berlin were the songwriters of the time. Popular
Country singer Jimmie Rodgers had died in 1933. The "singing cowboy" Gene Autry was making movies and Len Slye (later world
famous as cowboy star Roy Rogers) and the Sons of the Pioneers were becoming well known.
Mississippi Elvis Presley's birthplace now features a permanent reminder that the singer was
a kid before he was king. The 350-pound bronze statue of a 13-year-old Elvis was unveiled to
coincide with the 67th anniversary of the singer's birth.
Museum at Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo,
Mississippi, reopened to the public on Monday 8 January 2007, on what would have been Elvis' 72nd
birthday. The museum's $250,000 renovation was completed last week. The collection features
memorabilia given by Elvis to his personal friend, Janelle
McComb The museum tells the story of Elvis's childhood in Tupelo will be open for 7 days
The statue was
created by sculptor Michiel Van der Sommen, at a cost $50,000, which was paid by the Tupelo
Visitors and Convention Bureau. Henry Dodge, chairman of the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation,
said the idea of portraying Elvis as a young
teen-ager was first suggested by a fan. "We chose 13 because that was the age his family left and
went to Memphis," Dodge said. "He lived here until he was 13 and nobody can really take that from
Dodge said the goal was to depict Elvis in his "innocence and humbleness." The final
product depicts a boy who doesn't quite resemble the face the whole world knows. The 13-year-old
dressed in overalls carries a guitar at his left side with his right hand reaching forward.
Elvis First Guitar The Elvis Presley Guided Tours lead to some of the most significant locations of Elvis' life in Tupelo.
Assembly of God
- where Elvis and family attended church under t Rev. Frank Smith
Lawhorn Elementary School - the first school
Drive-In - where Elvis and friends enjoyed cheeseburgers
where Elvis gained influence from gospel and blues music
Tupelo Fairgrounds - where Elvis
performed concerts in 1956 and 1957
Tupelo Hardware - where Elvis
bought his first guitar
Courthouse - Elvis performed his first live
radio show hosted by Mississippi Slim
Store - where Elvis sat on the porch and
listen to blues and gospel music
Library - where Elvis received his first
Milam Jr. High - last school
Elvis attended before moving to Memphis.