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tv   [untitled]    April 11, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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launched daily website and barry kluger talks about the parental bereavement act. that's 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> our specific mission is to work to see that human rights remain an essential component of american foreign policy. and that when we are evaluating our foreign policy moves globally, human rights can never be the only consideration but it has to be part of the dialogue. >> katrina lantos swett is the president and ceo for human rights and justice. >> when we abandon our deepest values and whether we're talking about torture as it relates to the war on terror or the reset policy with russia, you know, and the upcoming issue of
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whether or not the u.s. congress should pass the accountability act which is -- we don't need to go into the details of that policy issue but whether or not we're going to stay on record saying that human rights matter. they matter in russia. they matter in china. >> more with katrina lantos swett saturday night at 8:00 on c-span's q and a. we now continue our look at american history tv with tonight's focus on the life and career of richard nixon. jerry schilling met elvis presley. he was in the oval office. we'll hear about the events leading up to the 1970 white house visit and what happened when the two men met. this is about an hour. >> you get a call out of the blue.
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it's elvis. tell us about it. set it up. >> well, i was in culver city, california. i was doing my film editing stuff. hi gone to bed. it was saturday. and the phone rings and i go, who is this? he goes, it's me. nobody else would say, it's me. i was always glad to hear from elvis so i perked up. he said, jerry, i'm changing planes in dallas and can you pick me up at the airport? i said, who is with you? and said, nobody. this is a guy who hadn't
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traveled without an entourage in 15 years. he said, i don't want anybody in the world to know where i am. i said, okay. and elvis has given me his flight number. he doesn't do those things. people do those things for him. he had it all done. i said, okay, i'll come in my car. it will not draw any attention for sure. and he said, well, if you want to we had a limousine driver that elvis trusted because he used to drive for winston churchill. when he will vin found that out, elvis knighted him sir gerald. i guess it was 2:00 in the morning. at that particular time you could drive up to the plane and
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we actually did. >> this is a less than a week before christmas? >> yes. >> december, 1970? >> yes. >> 2:00 in the morning you go with sir gerald? >> sir gerald. to pick him up. he's flying commercial? >> flying commercial. he's got a credit card. he doesn't have any money but he's got a credit card. >> i was going to say, a pretty darn good credit card. >> he did not leave home without it? >> he did not leave home without it. he left everything else but he had this american express card. >> did you ever find out why did he do this? >> elvis, as we all of history knows, he was a very generous guy and it was christmastime and he was doing some big shopping. when elvis did big shopping, it was buying cars for people and
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things like that. and his father and his wife talked to him about it. and they were kind of telling him that he had to slow down and he couldn't -- and he got very upset. he told me the next day he ran this all down to me and said, it's my money. i understand why they are talking to me and i appreciate all of that. what really ticked him off is then they called colonel parker on the west about his spending and he said, it's none of his business. he got in the car. i think he went to the airport, got on the first plane out of memphis. i don't think he knew where it was going. he checked into a hotel and then thought, what the hell am i going to do? so that's when he decided to call me because i wasn't working for him. i wasn't part of the whole structure at that time and
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decided to come out and get me in los angeles. and i thought that was kind of it. i picked him up and i never will forget, he's walking down the steps of the plane and he's got this little box and i said, elvis, what's that? he says, my luggage. don't forget, this is a guy that never traveled or took care of things himself. well, back at that time, if you're first-class, they give you a little box with a wash rag and toothpaste and maybe some mouth -- that was his luggage. he was traveling light. and so he had a home in los angeles on hill crest drive, part of beverly hills and after elvis, who did not want anybody to know where he was, had promised to take a couple of the
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stewardess home and it was very late at that particular time. and he was tired. he said, you know, i think i'll turn in and i said, great. and he went to bed and then it hit me, i'm the only person in the world who knows where elvis presley is. i mean, i'm thinking of priscilla, vernon presley, these people -- even the guys. you know, has he been kidnapped? has he been killed? i mean, you know, this was unheard of. and so there was no way i was going to sleep and so the next afternoon was sunday and he gets up. he's in a great mood. that's when he tells me what went on in memphis and on this flight from dallas to los angeles he had a big problem.
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the male stewart on the flight saw elvis' guns and elvis showed and his badge and everything to carry. he had a concealed weapon. the guy said, you can't do it. so elvis just walked off the plane. the pilot came after him, mr. presley, it's okay. you can bring your weapons. he had three guns. you can bring your weapons -- can you imagine that due today? so i'm hearing all this stuff but we had this nice sunday afternoon, we made coffee, we were looking out -- >> what did he wear on that flight? he didn't wear the vegas outfit, did he? >> he wore the same outfit on work to washington. >> the same outfit with the international hotel belt? >> don't forget, he doesn't pack a suitcase. he was mad.
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he left in a hurry. you know, he had a change of clothes at the hill crest house but then basically wore the same thing that he had gone to washington in the first time, which all he did was check into the hotel and then check out. >> at the hill crest house, is that where he picked up the ceremonial pistol that he would give -- >> yes. he had bought that for himself. elvis was -- he was an historian nut. he read history books. he -- down the street from us was omar bradley. and presley was blown away. i have a signed picture from omar bradley. he was the little old man, very old at the time but elvis knew his history and elvis would go and -- this sounds weird but he would pat omar bradley on the head. they really had this great
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relationship and now i look at tanks and i say, i know this little guy who was a great general and elvis knew that. it is amazing. >> elvis must have watched the movie patent, then. >> i watched it seven times with him. that's another speech he probably could have done, too, when george scott gets up there and -- yeah, we went down to hoil boulevard to the egyptian theater, i believe it was, sneaking after the show would start and watch pat three nights in a row. finally by the third night people knew. the word was getting out that elvis was showing up. so, yeah, he was a real history buff. elvis knew his history. when elvis walked into the oval room of the white house, he knew where he was. he knew what it meant. and he knew that he was in the presence of the president.
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he knew very much what all that meant. >> all right. well, let's get to that. he's with you in l.a., you know that you're the only person in the world who knows where elvis presley is. you're not getting much sleep that night. >> none. >> okay. it's the next morning. it's a sunday morning you're chatting with him. you've been told the story. when are you told that you're going to washington, d.c.? >> well, keep in mind that it's wednesday afternoon. it's our morning, but it's 3:00 in the afternoon. nocturnal hours. we had this nice talk, he tells me, you know, what's been going on. it was really great. great friends one on one coffee or whatever and i'm feeling pretty good, you know. and he's in great shape because he had a good night's rest and he's not mad at the situation in memphis. he's kind of laughing about it, you know, and then he springs
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this on me, jerry, i'm going back to washington tonight. i want you to go with me. and i said -- here i had scraped these labels off the boxes for a year to get to paramount as a film editor. it's sunday night. i have to be at work monday morning. i said, elvis, i can't. you know, i got this job, as you know, as a film editor. i have to be at work in the morning. and he -- got, he was hard to say no to. he got this look on his face and all the fun we had had just kind of sunk and it was like, all right. i'll go by myself. well, of course, in my mind i'm thinking, maybe the next pilot may not run after him and tell him he can take his gun. so many things could have happened. and he said, jerry, lee charter a leer jet as soon as we get
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there to fly you back. i go, you know, elvis, leer jet is not going to get me back any faster than a commercial plane and then i know part of the problem is, he had been spending all of this money. so i said, i tell you what i'll do, elvis. you know, your wife and your father and everybody, they have no idea where you are or what has happened to you. if you'll let me call graceland and if i can have one of the security guys, either red or sunny come up and meet us, i will fly back on the all nighter to washington with you if i can make that call. and he said, okay, you can make that call. and so i immediately had to go into this -- i called graceland. sunny answered the phone. i said, sunny, here's the deal. i checked the airlines. i knew there was an all-night
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flight. i had elvis' american express card. so i booked us a couple tickets on the all-night flight and sunny, i told him when we were getting in, just get on the first plane and meet us up there. because i have to get back. i was worried about my editor. hi no idea what we were going to do. so he just said we're going to washington, you know. and so i started making arrangements and everything and got sir gerald to come and pick us up again. charged everything on the american express card but we had no cash. >> now, elvis will bring with him a signed photograph of lisa marie and of -- and of priscilla? >> uh-huh. >> so did he pick that up -- >> i think these are pictures that he carried with him all the time. i think he signed it to the
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president. >> he carried them all the time? >> he carried a picture of lisa and priscilla with him in his wallet. >> these are a little bigger than that. >> okay. then he picked them up at the hill crest house. >> but then he also picked up the gun at the hill crest house. >> he picked up i think a world war ii memorial gun. >> yes. >> that was at the hill crest house and he took that. i didn't know why he was taking it. elvis, you know, you didn't just -- when you were used to being with him and not knowing where you were going or what you were doing. it was kind of normal. i've been doing that for years with him. so he's going to washington. i knew there was a girl he knew back then. there was all kinds of things. and, you know, he wanted me to go back with him. when he's saying that he's going to charter a leer jet when i saw how important it was that i went back with him, i can't ask questions. i started making arrangements, hotels, airlines, limo, all that
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kind of stuff. and he was still -- i wasn't watching everything he was doing, you know. i mean, at this point, as funny as it sounds, elvis was my friend. he was just another guy. i had been around him -- he's bored with me, i'm bored with him sometimes. we just hadn't seen each other in a while so it was really great. but on a day-to-day basis, you don't watch what your friend is doing. i was busy. making arrangements, finding out if i was going to lose my job, all of those kind of things. so any way, i think the flight left, at 11:00, 12:00 midnight. and like i say, we didn't have any cash on us and i found a checkbook of elvises' at the hill crest house. had he a desk and in the drawer there i thought there was a checkbook and i called gerald
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peters, it was a sunday night, and i said, gerald, we don't have any cash. do you have any suggestions where i can get a check cashed? he said, you know, i know somebody at the beverly hilton hotel that might take a $500 check. so i made out a check and had elvis sign it. here we go to washington, on the way to washington. we only have $500 and i'm traveling with elvis presley, you know. we go, we get the check cashed, they preboard us on the american airlines flight to washington, the all nighter. we have two seats in first-class and then they started letting the passengers on and i couldn't help notice that it was a lot of young boys in military outfits coming back from vietnam and
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elvis was always very cordial. i was by the window, elvis was on the aisle seat and there was one young soldier that struck up a conversation with elvis. and so i was like, reading a magazine. i had -- they seemed to be getting along fine and i get this little elbow nudge. jerry, where's that money? i said, what money? he said, the $500. i know elvis, i'm saying, that's all we've got. he said, man, you don't understand. this guy's coming home from the war to see his family. i want him to have it. so there went the $500. and we go to washington penniness. but, you know, we could get by with a lot. he was fairly well-known. so we were okay. >> he decides to write a letter?
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>> yes. one of the stewardess that was making sure that everything was okay with elvis told him that senator george murphy from california was on the plane. and after we took off, elvis went back and coached, introduced himself to george murphy and, you know, i always kind of look to see wham things -- you know, what is going on because he's a puppet figure and they seem to be having a nice conversation. so -- and i guess they probably had a 20-minute conversation. elvis came back up and sat down next to me and said, do you think there's any stationery on the flight? and i got the stewardess'
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attention. i had known elvis at birthright, opportunity and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. bequeathed upon all of us by our founders. let me ask you, are we going have a president who defines fairness as a check from the government or a president who believes that fairness is a level playing field where everyone can be the master of his or her own destiny? [ applause ] are we going have a president who believes that a weaker, less vibrant america is best for the world or an america who believes or a president who believes as ronald reagan believed that america's a -- a strong america world's last best chance. are we going have a president who thinks that our country needs to be fundamentally transformed and that our constitution is a flawed document for a president who respects our country's
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foundings, its traditions and its rule of law? [ applause ] tonight -- tonight we begin to make the case. tonight we can stand together and rally behind a candidate. the campaign for america and the future of this country and the restoration of our birthright starts right here in chester county. tonight in chester county we as republicans can unite behind a good man and a great leader. so now it is my great privilege to introduce to you our senator pat toomey, a man who never lost faith in our party, our values and our nation, a man who in chester county we carried for in 2010 and pat toomey knows what makes america great. he hasn't forgotten that and along with him, the next president of the united states governor mitt romney. ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> thank you. thank you all. thank you very much. val, thank you so much. thanks for all that you're do g doing. we all know that val stepped into this job with great shoes to fill
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and the shower, and i -- i expressed that, and i said is it too early? he said no, i by the white house, and you know, when he said something like this, there's no debate. i knew we were going to the white house. the driver -- the limousine driver took us to -- i forgot which gate it was and the north gate, the white house gate and i
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said just stay here. i'll take this to the guards of the gate, and i said fine. well, i'm keeping a pretty close eye on elvis, and he gets out and we all -- the world knows what he was wearing, you know? it was pretty normal for me, and he had a high collar top coat and his hair was a little longer than usual. he had a cane, and it's not full daylight and he jumps out of the back of a black limousine. the white house security guards were pretty stiff and i think they were, like, who is this? what is this? i see it's not going well so i jump out of the limousine, and i go -- excuse me, gentlemen, but this is mr. elvis presley, and he just wanted to drop off this letter to the president and they immediately -- their whole demeanor changed, and oh, mr.
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presley, mr. so and so is coming up at:00 7:00 a.m. we'll make sure the president has the letter and then we went to the hotel washington. >> so they hadn't recognized him? >> well, you know what? if it had been broad daylight, of course, they would have, but no. you've got to understand it's dark and you're not expecting elvis presley to walk up and he didn't look like he did in most of his movies. you know, he's wearing more of a -- it's the early '70s. it'se -- >> the vegas costume. >> the movies that were big at the time, i forgot what the dress were, but it was more of that. so it's quite understandable why he wasn't recognized. >> was he carrying weapons? >> always. yeah. he carried a little derringer in
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the boot. he had another, like a .38 here. you know, you deal with it in the book, but there were pretty heavy death threats on elvis' life and as foolish as this may sound, here's a guy that passed the test both written and that went to the firing range and took it serious and also had a reason to carry a gun and never had an incident with it, so it sounds bidz ar. the meeting sounds bizarre. >> no. this is the era when you could actually fly with a gun. there weren't any metal detectors at airports in 1970. >> i flew with a gun. i had concealed weapon
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credentials. so, that was weird for me because i -- i didn't even like to wear a coat. i'd get on an elevator and elvis -- where's your gun? he wanted me to carry a gun when i didn't have one back on that trip. >> not on that trip. >> i wasn't working for him at that time so i didn't use guns. >> when you go back to the hotel the white house tells you anything when you go -- do you know that you're going to get an appointment with the president? >> no. when with i proof read elvis' letter i thought it was a great letter, but i didn't think we'd have any chance whatsoever of meeting the president and why i thought that was because i kept on pretty much with the news and i had been reading that there was -- some of the senators were complaining about not being able to have time with the president that time, and i remembered that distinctly.
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i don't know if i was reading in "the washington post" or "l.a. times," but -- so i remember thinking we're not going to have a meeting, but the letters are great and i'm sure the president will get the letter. so we leave the white house, and we go to the hotel and check in, and -- i'm feeling pretty comfortable. i don't know, you know, what elvis' agenda is, and so after we're there about 30 minutes or so he says jerry i want you to stay here and wait for the call from the white house. and he had no question that there was going to be a call from the white house. i knew there wasn't going to be a call from the white house. he said i'm going to the bureau of narcotics and dangerous drugs to see mr. john finn later who is ahead of it and i'm trying to
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get the badge when which i was at the dinner in los angeles when he saw this badge by a guy named paul friesz who we had a dinner through friends of elvis'. when elvis saw that badge that was the ultimate badge that he wanted in his collection, and for various reasons because it was -- he was respected overseas and he was planning on touring overseas. it was the ultimate. it was like -- it was kind of a james bond thing with a lot of respect for it. and he gave me the number of where he would be. these are things that elvis was capable of. >> so he knew the person that he needed to meet. i think senator murphy on


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