"A Day in the life"
Elvis: "A Day in the Life" March 1, 1960, (Tuesday)
Ray Barracks, Friedberg, Hessen, West Germany.
The army held a press conference just before Elvis' departure from Germany, with over one hundred reporters
and photographers in attendance at the enlisted men's club in Friedberg. Elvis' commanding officer presented
him with a certificate of merit citing his "cheerfulness and drive and continually outstanding leadership ability."
Also present was Marion Keisker from Sun Records, who as army Captain MacInness (her married name) had been serving out her tour of duty in Europe. When Elvis, who has not seen her since her 1957 enlistment, spotted her, he reacted excitedly, saying, "I don't know whether to kiss you or salute." "In that order," she said. (photo)
In New York the Colonel had worked out new amendments to Elvis' RCA contract retroactive to January 1. Any movie recording can now be used towards the fulfillment of his contractual quota of two LPs and eight single sides annually. In addition, Elvis and the Colonel would receive a three-fourths of 1 percent recoupable royalty on top of the regular 5 percent royalty; the Colonel was granted explicit approval on all advertising, promotion and publicity material; and, with Elvis' signed assent, his manager would receive an annual payment of $27,000 in exchange for supplying photographs for record covers and in general, "exploitational" support. RCA also agreed that payments made to musicians, vocalists and arrangers on recording sessions will no longer be deducted from royalties.
Elvis: "A Day in the Life" March 2, 1960, (Wednesday)
Goethestrasse 14, Bad Nauheim, West Germany.
Elvis said goodbye to the house on Goestrasse and drove to Frankfurt to catch the plane to that would bring him home to
the United States. Life Magazine were on hand to photograph proceedings.
Rhine-Main Air Base, Frankfurt, West Germany. - Prestwick Airport, Glasgow, Scotland, The United Kingdom - Stopover for refuelling.
Priscilla Beaulieu was held back by military policemen at the Rhine-Main air Base as she tried to bid Elvis one last farewell. She was captured by Life magazine waving goodbye, with the photo appearing in the March 14 issue and captioned "Girl He Left Behind." The military transport took off at 5:25 P.M., and had to stop off at Prestwick in Scotland for refuelling purposes before heading on to New Jersey.
(Audio: "Theme From A Summer Place" by Percy Faith)
Elvis: "A Day in the Life" March 3, 1960, (Thursday)
McGuire Air Force Base, Fort Dix, Burlington County, New Jersey.
Elvis arrived at McGuire Air Force Base near Fort Dix, New Jersey, at 7:42 A.M., in the midst of a snowstorm. After
processing their celebrity sergeant through customs, the army held another full-scale press conference, with a
welcoming party that included Nancy Sinatra (who was armed with a gift of a box of shirts from her father), Colonel
Parker; Jean Aberbach, and numerous RCA representatives.
Elvis would spend the next two days at Fort Dix under going the routine discharge procedures.
(Audio: "Lonely Blue Boy" by Conway Twitty) (see: "Danny" by Elvis Presley)
Elvis: "A Day in the Life" March 4, 1960, (Friday)
Fort Dix, Burlington County, New Jersey.
Elvis underwent further processing.
(Screen Digest: Issue No. 10)
Tennessee senator Estes Kefauver read a tribute to Elvis into the Congressional Record that included this passage: "To his great credit this young American became just another G.I. Joe.... I for one would like to say to him yours was a job well done, Soldier." Meanwhile, Vernon had arrived home in Memphis with his mother, Dee Stanley, and Elisabeth Stefaniak.
Elvis: "A Day in the Life" March 5, 1960, (Saturday)
Fort Dix, Burlington County, New Jersey.
Elvis was released from the army at 9:15 A.M. After receiving his mustering out check of $109.54 and his formal
honorable discharge, he, Rex Mansfield and Colonel Parker traveled by limousine, "mysteriously vanishing" the press
reported, "from a snow-packed and fan-laden highway." Their destination was a Trenton, New Jersey, hotel where they
were joined by Lamar Fike. That same evening, the group took a private railroad car to Washington, D.C.
(Audio: "Beyond the Sea" by Bobby Darin)
Elvis: "A Day in the Life" March 6, 1960, (Sunday)
TRAIN JOURNEY FROM WASHINGTON TO MEMPHIS.
In Washington, Elvis and his party that now included Lamar Fike, Rex Mansfield, Ken Moore (photo), Bitsy Mott, Tom Diskin and Col. Parker, boarded a second private railway car, this time on the "Tennessean," which left for Memphis at 8:05 am. The train traveled from Washington through Virginia, then Bristol and eventually terminate in Memphis. Throughout the trip, Elvis appeared on the observation platform in his dress blues with an incorrect army rank on his arm and waved to the crowds gathered that were at every station, big and small, along the route. In Bristol, Tennessee, a young reporter from the Nashville Tennessean, David Halberstam, boarded the train to cover the Story.
Elvis: "A Day in the Life" March 7, 1960 (Monday)
ARRIVING IN MEMPHIS - Union Station, Memphis, Tennessee.
Elvis remained awake throughout the night, and in the morning appeared still in uniform but with one of the formal lace-fronted shirts given to him by Nancy Sinatra at Fort Dix. The train arrived in Memphis at 7:45 A.M. in the midst of another snowstorm. When Elvis stepped off the train he was met by good friend George Klein. After greeting fans, amongst them Gary Pepper who received a warm hug, Elvis got a lift out to Graceland in his friend Police Captain Fred Woodward's squad car. Memphis reporter Bill Burk went along for the ride. (video)
(Audio: "Running Bear" by Johnny Preston) & ("Handyman" by Jimmy Jones)
PRESS CONFERENCE - Vernon's Office, Graceland, 3764 Highway 51 South, Memphis, Tennessee.
In the afternoon, Elvis held a press conference (video) in his father's office in a small building just behind
Graceland. He told the gathering of some fifty reporters that he was so happy to be home that "I just can't
get it in my mind that I'm here." He was also quizzed about Priscilla when asked did he leave anyone special
behind? "Not any special one" he answered, but also said, "I have to be careful when I answer a question like