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Nixon's unlikely friends: Elvis and Sinatra

WASHINGTON - The National Archives today released 122,800 pages of mostly routine correspondence from the Nixon presidency, none of it apparently earth-shaking but some of it mildly interesting.

One of the more amusing letters was from Nixon aide Egil Krough Jr., thanking a friend for helping secure a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs badge for Elvis Presley following Presley's 1970 Oval Office meeting with the president.

"We meet many fascinating creatures in this business," Krough wrote, "but I think that meeting between the president and Elvis Presley was one of the most interesting."

Presley pledged his support to the president in the war on drugs, only to die a few years later of a heart attack brought on by years of prescription drug abuse.

Cheney's 60's-era DUIs

Another document file contained Vice President Cheney's 1969 government job application in which he acknowledged being charged twice with driving under the influence while a college student in Wyoming.

Cheney was cited for driving under the influence in Cheyenne, Wyo., in November 1962 and in Rock Springs, Wyo., in July 1963.

He forfeited a $150 bond and had his driver's license suspended for 30 days for the first offense and was fined $100 for the second.

Should have listened…

Another folder, on Mark Felt, contained a number of letters to Nixon urging him to appoint Felt the permanent FBI director following the death of J. Edgar Hoover.

"If Mark Felt is appointed as director of the FBI, the citizens of America would be assured the bureau could not be involved in politics," wrote the chief of police of Kodiak, Alaska, in a typical letter of support for Felt.

Had Nixon listened, he would have saved himself a lot of grief – and possibly his presidency. Instead, he chose L. Patrick Gray, and Felt retaliated by becoming "Deep Throat" in the Watergate scandal.

'Affectionately, Francis'

Frank Sinatra became a Nixon buddy, but early in Nixon's presidency, his staff debated whether it was appropriate to have Sinatra sing at the White House.

"I am sure that many of our friends in the entertainment field would think it wrong to have a former anti-Nixon person entertain at the White House," presidential aide Dwight Chapin wrote in a 1970 memo.

But Sinatra did perform, and he was soon signing his hand-written notes to the president, "Affectionately, Francis," while Nixon, ever the stiff, signed a photo of the two, "Richard Nixon."