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Elvis Presley, whose singing and style revolutionized popular music in the 1950s, was scheduled to fly out of Memphis on the evening of August 16 to begin another tour. But that afternoon his fiancée Ginger Alder found him slumped in a bathroom at his mansion, Gracelands. He was rushed to the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis but was pronounced dead on arrival at 3:30 pm. The King was dead.

President Jimmy Carter issued a statement that credited the 42 year old Presley with having “permanently changed the face of American popular culture”. Presley’s funeral was held at Graceland, on Thursday, August 18 and thousands of people gathered outside Graceland to view the open casket. Outside the gates, a car ploughed into a group of fans, killing two women and critically injuring a third. Approximately 80,000 people lined the processional route to Forest Hill Cemetery, where Presley was buried next to his mother.

There had been clear indications of Elvis Presley’s declining health for some time and anyone who saw him perform on stage could not fail to see he was extremely unwell. Extensive post mortem examinations concluded the cause of death was extreme drug addiction.

Category: Historic Events

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