Every year, thousands of Elvis fans make the trek to Graceland to celebrate The King. If you're one of the many planning to honor the American legend with a trip to his Memphis, Tennessee abode this year, study up on the iconic Southern mansion with this list of things you may not have known about Elvis Presley's Graceland.
8. Elvis Bought the Mansion When He Was Only 22
The King purchased Graceland in 1957 for $102,500, which equals about $900,000 in today's money.
7. It's Second Only to the White House
...in visitors that is. Graceland, which was named a National Historic Landmark in 2006, is the second most visited home in the United States with over 700,000 visitors a year. Only the White House has more visitors.
6. The Name Graceland Comes From the Original Owners
The name "Graceland" will forever be associated with Elvis, but the King didn't actually name the property. The mansion was named by the family who originally owned the property, The Moores. Presley purchased Graceland from Mrs. Ruth Brown Moore, who named the property after her aunt, Grace Toof.
Presley added several features to the property, including a swimming pool in 1957.
5. The King Ran a $500 a Week Grocery Bill
We all know about the King's love of fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but People reports that the superstar also required several other things in his pantry and fridge. Among the items Elvis required at all times: a case of Pepsi, six cans of biscuits and sauerkraut.
4. The Upstairs is Sealed Off to the Public
Though much of the 17,500 square-foot Graceland property is open to the public, there is one portion that isn't. The master suite on the second floor is blocked from visitors. In fact, only Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley and the Graceland curator are allowed in. It was in the bathroom of the second floor suite that Presley's body was found after his death on Aug. 16, 1977.
3. Bruce Springsteen Once Trespassed There
The Boss is a huge fan of The King and, one night in 1976, Springsteen set out to meet his idol by hopping the Graceland fence. The rocker's efforts were thwarted by security, but it turns out that Elvis wasn't even home that night.
2. Graceland Was (and is) a Family Affair
Elvis loved having his family close by -- so close that he moved his parents and grandparents into Graceland with him. His parents, Vernon and Gladys, and paternal grandmother, Minnie Mae Presley, moved in while Presley was filming the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock.
To this day, tributes to Presley's family can be found all around Graceland. Visitors can see the King's planes, one of which is named for his daughter Lisa Marie, and visit a memorial marker for Presley's twin brother Jesse Garon Presley, who died at birth. (Jesse Garon Presley is buried in Tupelo, Mississippi.)
Graceland's Meditation Garden is the final resting place for Elvis, along with his parents and grandmother.
1. Elvis Made His Final Recordings in the Jungle Room
Arguably the most captivating room in Graceland, the Jungle Room was where Elvis really let his decorative taste go wild. The kitschy den, featuring green shag carpet, plastic plants, wood paneling and tiki-inspired decor, was where the King spent much of his time.
By the mid-1970s, Presley's career had stalled and his interest in recording had wavered. So RCA did what they could to entice the superstar: they turned his beloved Jungle Room into a makeshift recording studio. In the comfort of his own home, Presley recorded his final musical output, which included a cover of George Jones' "She Thinks I Still Care."
Several of the recordings were released on the albums Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee (1976), Moody Blue (1977) and Elvis: Way Down in the Jungle Room, a two-disc set released in 2016.
This article was originally published in January of 2019.
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