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Elvis "birthplace" home in Tupelo, Mississippi gets a facelift. The most significant landmark of Tupelo's modern history is Elvis Presley's two-room house where he was born on January 8, 1935. The city is also home to the Tupelo Automobile Museum, Tupelo Buffalo Park, two area National Battlefield sites, the Oren Dunn City Museum and the Natchez Trace Parkway headquarters. Guests can also enjoy performing arts through ballet & art exhibitions.

Elvis Presley's hometown was recovering Tuesday from the beating it took from a rash of deadly tornadoes that tore through the nation's midsection and killed 31.

At least one of the nine Mississippi victims was reported in Tupelo, where hundreds of homes were flattened, trees were shredded and a quarter of the city was left in the dark after power lines were downed, officials said.

Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre said emergency crews were going house to house and picking through the wreckage in search of the living and the dead.

Elvis_ Home_Tupelo
Elvis' birthplace on the Old Saltillo Road, East Tupelo
No news whether Elvis' birthplace survived the tornado

Elvis Tupelo Home Hit By TornadoTornado hit Tupelo, Mississippi – April 5, 1936 when Elvis was a mere 15 months old
One of the worst tornado disasters in world history occurred in the midst of a wide-scale severe weather outbreak that brought devastating tornadoes throughout the South Eastern United States in the spring of 1936. Just after 8pm on April 5th, a massive funnel touched down approximately eight miles southwest of Tupelo, Mississippi. Little is known about the tornado’s path outside the city, but several fatalities occurred in rural areas, including one person who was killed in a vehicle swept off a road (Mississippi State Geological Survey). As the tornado raced through the outskirts of town it swept away the Burroughs home, leading to the deaths of the couple and their 11 children (New York Times, 1936)

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Elvis Birth Place - Tupelo, Mississippi
Elvis Birth Place - Tupelo, Mississippi

Elvis Presley with his parents Vernon and Gladys Presley
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Gladys always believed Elvis was an identical twin (his brother Jessie Garon died at birth) and raised Elvis to believe this as well, which led him to comment throughout his life that he always felt emptiness in his life where his brother should have been. This trauma bonded Elvis and Gladys. Mother and son were devoted to each another to the extreme. The Presleys were poor as any white Southerners could be. Vernon worked as a sharecropper, Gladys at the Tupelo Garment Co as a machine operator. Vernon was not an ambitious man, considered lazy, and for a time spent 18 months at Parchman Penitentiary for cheque forgery.
 

Elvis Presley Birth Place Home Tupelo Mississippi
Elvis Presley
Tupelo Mississippi home in 1949

Elvis Home in Tupelo Mississippi
Elvis Presley Interior Tupelo Home Today

Elvis Age 2Elvis Presley birthplace: Tupelo was a dirt-poor town in the deep South. The sharecroppers and laborers, whites and blacks alike, all sought refuse from their misery through religion. It was in church, Elvis first heard music, Gospel music, and this Southern-style expression in song would remain the strongest influence on Elvis' music till the very end. Although pitifully poor, Elvis's mother saw to it that her only surviving child would have the best of what little money could buy. For his 10th birthday, she bought him a guitar. At first little Elvis objected - he had wanted a cap gun. Maybe that's the reason in later life, when money was no object Elvis had a fascination and collected firearms. Later, with the help of uncle Vester, Elvis learned to play the guitar, well enough to accompany himself singing OLD SHEP. A family friend, Mississippi Slim, encouraged Elvis' guitar playing by teaching him additional chords - sharps and flats. According to Slim, Elvis was an attentive student, but was not a quick learner.  

Tupelo's City Council authorised improvements to Elvis Presley birthplace in Mississippi and agreed to accept the work as a donation to the city. The proposed expansion of the gift shop at the museum and improvements to the restrooms are expected to cost $100,000.

It will cost the city nothing as members of the Elvis Presley birthplace board have guaranteed repayment of a 10-year loan to cover the costs. The work will involve extending the south end of the museum and gift center 20 feet. "The most pressing need ... is upgrading of the rest rooms," admits Donna Kaye Randle, board secretary of the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation of Tupelo. The changes would increase traffic through the gift shop, and the additional space, a higher ceiling and more use of glass should also enhance gift shop marketing, said Donna.  The Elvis Presley Foundation members believe increasing visitation to the center will be based on attracting more tour buses. The improvements will be needed to accommodate such tours. As yet no date for completing of the expansion has been set.

Name: Elvis Aron Presley: born in Tupelo, Mississippi at 4:35 AM January 8, 1935 during The Great Depression.  Times were hard everywhere, but  especially in the rural South. The national average annual salary was $1,368 unemployment was 25% Milk was 14cents a quart & bread 9cents a loaf. To escape the dire circumstances people amused themselves with board games like the new Parker Brothers game Monopoly, and by reading mystery novels by such  writers as Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler.  Another pastime was listening to the radio. On the radio in the 1930's were comedians Jack Benny, George Burns/Gracie Allen, and Fibber McGee and Molly. Dramatic radio serials featuring The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet &The Shadow kept listeners enthralled. The music was that of the Big Bands were Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington &Tommy Dorsey as well as the folk songs of performers Woody Gutherie. George Gershwin, Cole Porter & Irving Berlin were the songwriters of the time.  Popular Country singer Jimmie Rodgers had died in 1933. The "singing cowboy" Gene Autry was making movies and Len Slye (later world famous as cowboy star Roy Rogers) and the Sons of the Pioneers were becoming well known.  

Birthplace of ElvisTupelo, Mississippi Elvis Presley's birthplace now features a permanent reminder that the singer was a kid before he was king. The 350-pound bronze statue of a 13-year-old Elvis was unveiled to coincide with the 67th anniversary of the singer's birth.

Museum at Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi, reopened to the public on Monday 8 January 2007, on what would have been Elvis' 72nd birthday. The museum's $250,000 renovation was completed last week. The collection features memorabilia given by Elvis to his personal friend, Janelle McComb The museum tells the story of Elvis's childhood in Tupelo will be open for 7 days

 

The statue was created by sculptor Michiel Van der Sommen, at a cost $50,000, which was paid by the Tupelo Visitors and Convention Bureau. Henry Dodge, chairman of the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation, said the idea of portraying Elvis as a young teen-ager was first suggested by a fan.  "We chose 13 because that was the age his family left and went to Memphis," Dodge said. "He lived here until he was 13 and nobody can really take that from us."

Dodge said the goal was to depict Elvis in his "innocence and humbleness." The final product depicts a boy who doesn't quite resemble the face the whole world knows. The 13-year-old dressed in overalls carries a guitar at his left side with his right hand reaching forward. Elvis First Guitar The Elvis Presley Guided Tours lead to some of the most significant locations of Elvis' life in Tupelo.

  • Assembly of God - where Elvis and  family attended church under t Rev. Frank Smith

  • Lawhorn Elementary School -  the first school Elvis attended

  • Johnnie's Drive-In -  where Elvis and friends  enjoyed cheeseburgers

  • Shakerag -  where Elvis gained influence from gospel and blues music

  • Tupelo Fairgrounds  - where Elvis performed concerts in 1956 and 1957

  • Tupelo Hardware  - where Elvis bought his first guitar

  • Lee County Courthouse - Elvis performed his first live radio show hosted by Mississippi Slim

  • Mayhorn's Grocery Store - where Elvis sat on the porch and listen to blues and gospel music

  • Lee County Library -  where Elvis received his first library card

  • Milam Jr. High  - last school Elvis attended before moving to Memphis.




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