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Elvis Died 34 Years Ago Today

It was the end of summer vacation in 1977. Back then we went back to school before Labor Day, so there was about 2 weeks left of summer fun. It was about 4 o clock in the afternoon. My mom was laying down taking a nap, or as she put, “resting”. Then there was a special report on TV.

It’s weird because this is one of those things I remember vividly about my childhood. On our cable in Kalamazoo, we had Channel 13, as they still do. The ABC news anchor broke in to report that Elvis Presley died. They had a helicopter overhead view of an ambulance leaving Graceland (precursor of things to come?) I went to wake my mom up to tell her. She sat up immediately and came out to see the report. And started to cry.

I barely knew who Elvis was. I was 7. Kids back then wern’t as turned on to media and technology and famous people like we all are now. Think if there would have been social media back then. All the weird stuff surrounding Elvis’ death would have been texted, tweeted, facebooked and shared ad nausem. And of course when Elvis was spotted in Kalamazoo a few years later via the Weekly World News, well that would have been a field day online.

Most Shocking Celebrity Deaths tells more.

Oli Scarff/Getty Images

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