On This Day, Nov. 23. 1976 – Jerry Lee Lewis Arrested at the Gates of Graceland



1976 – Police arrested Jerry Lee Lewis outside the gates of Graceland after he showed up for the second time in 24 hours and made a scene by shouting, waving a pistol and demanding to see Elvis Presley.

In the early hours of November 22, 1976, Harold Loyd, the presiding guard on duty at Graceland, was greeted by an unexpected visitor, Jerry Lee Lewis.

Jerry Lee, accompanied by his wife, pulled up to the mansion’s front gate in his new Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. He asked Loyd if he could see Elvis, but was told that the King was asleep. Lewis politely thanked Loyd and drove away without incident. Later that morning, at 9:30 a.m., Lewis flipped his Rolls while rounding the corner at Peterson Lake and Powell Road in Collierville.

The police report on the incident stated that the Breathalyzer test yielded negligible results, but that Lewis was obviously tanked on something and that he was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and driving without a license. After the infraction Lewis most likely returned to his home to rest.

On November 23, 1976, less than 12 hours later, he was holding court at The Vapors, one of his favorite Memphis nightspots, for reasons that are still debated, Lewis decided to leave the Vapors at about 2:30 a.m.

Precisely 2:50 a.m., almost 24 hours later to the minute, Lewis again pulled up to Graceland, this time in a new Lincoln Continental. The car wasn’t the only thing that had changed from the night before. Lewis’ manner was markedly different. He was armed, angry, and obviously inebriated — a dangerous combination for a man mere mortals call ‘Killer’, He was outta his mind, man’, recalls Loyd. ‘He was screamin‘, hollerin‘, and cussin‘.

‘Get on the goddamn phone. I know you got an intercom system. Call up there and tell Elvis I wanna visit with him. Who the hell does he think he is? Tell him the Killer’s here to see him’.

Loyd panicked. ‘I just put my hands up in the air and said, ‘Okay, okay, Jerry, just take it easy’, Loyd retreated to the guard booth and picked up the house phone. One of ‘the boys’ answered and Loyd apprised him of the situation. Loyd was advised to call the cops, and wasted no time in doing so.

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1835 – Henry Burden patented the horseshoe manufacturing machine.

1889 – The first jukebox made its debut in San Francisco, at the Palais Royale Saloon.

1890 – Princess Wilhelmina became Queen of the Netherlands at the age of 10 when her father William III died.

1936 – The first edition of “Life” was published.

1943 – During World War II, U.S. forces seized control of Tarawa and Makin from the Japanese during the Central Pacific offensive in the Gilbert Islands.

1945 – The U.S. wartime rationing of most foods ended.

1948 – Dr. Frank G. Back patented the “Zoomar” lens.

1961 – The Dominican Republic changed the name of its capital from Ciudad Trujillo to Santo Domingo.

1971 – The People’s Republic of China was seated in the United Nations Security Council.

1979 – In Dublin, Ireland, Thomas McMahon was sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of Earl Mountbatten.

1980 – In southern Italy, approximately 4,800 people were killed in a series of earthquakes.

1983 – The first Pershing II missiles were deployed in West Germany. In response, the U.S.S.R. broke off International Nuclear Forces (INF) talks in Geneva.

1988 – Wayne Gretzky scored his 600th NHL goal.

1989 – Lucia Barrera de Cerna, a housekeeper who claimed she had witnessed the slaying of six Jesuit priests and two other people at the Jose Simeon Canas University in El Salvador, was flown to the U.S.

1991 – Yugoslavia’s rival leaders agreed to a new cease-fire, the 14th of the Balkan civil war.

1991 – The Sacramento Kings ended the NBA‘s longest road losing streak at 43 games.

1994 – About 111 people, mostly women and children, were killed in a stampede after Indian police baton-charged tribal protesters in the western city of Nagpur.

1998 – Dennis Rodman filed for an annulment from Carmen Electra. The two were married on November 14, 1998.

1998 – The tobacco industry signed the biggest U.S. civil settlement. It was a $206-billion deal to resolve remaining state claims for treating sick smokers.

1998 – A U.S. federal judge rejected a Virginia county’s effort to block pornography on a library computer, calling the attempt unconstitutional.

2010 – North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong Island.


Source: On-This-Day.com; Elvis.com.au