News Item

Elvis' Birth is Timeline Winner for March

March 03, 2010

The winning Elvis timeline milestone for February that Elvis fans voted as their number one favorite Elvis moment is #1 - Elvis is born at 4:35 a.m. in a two-room house in Tupelo, MS. For this timeline event, we will take a look at Elvis' humble beginnings in Tupelo, which definitely helped shape the man and legend the world came to know as Elvis Presley.

Elvis Presley was born in a two-room house in Tupelo, MS on January 8, 1935, to Gladys and Vernon Presley. Dr. William R. Hunt attended the birth, and helped deliver Elvis and his twin brother, Jesse Garon. Jesse arrived about a half-hour before Elvis, but sadly, was delivered stillborn.

Events in Elvis' childhood helped send him down the path towards music, paving the way for his rise to superstardom. In Tupelo, Elvis sang gospel in the Assembly of God church, creating his passion for Gospel music, which he carried with him throughout his life. On his 11th birthday, Elvis genuinely wanted a bicycle. However, his parents could not afford the bicycle, so he settled for a guitar. Elvis' talent was undeniable, but his hard work ethic and drive to succeed, no doubt, stemmed from his poverty-stricken background and his desire to make a better life for himself and his family.

Recently, Tupelo and Elvis historian Roy Turner participated in a question and answer session with Elvis Insiders about Elvis' childhood in Tupelo. Click here to view the Q&A.

Click here to see a full gallery of Tupelo-related photos.

Five new Elvis in Tupelo photos have been added to the Elvis Mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch users. Download the free app to enjoy weekly Elvis photo updates, periodic video updates, the latest news on all things Elvis, the Graceland LiveCam, podcasts and more.

Each week in February, Elvis Insiders will have access to a new, rare Tupelo-related artifact from the Graceland archives in the members only exclusive image gallery on

Be sure to visit and vote for your favorite Timeline event, which will be featured in April. 

Facts about Elvis' childhood in Tupelo:

- Elvis got his middle name from Vernon's friend Aaron Kennedy. However, Vernon and Gladys chose to spell it Aron, with only one "a," and listed it as such on his birth records. Knowing that Elvis wanted to change it to "Aaron" later on in life, that is the spelling Vernon had inscribed on Elvis' grave.

- In 1933, using a $180 loan from his employer, Orville Bean, Vernon built the house in which Elvis was born, with the help of his father and brothers.

- In April of 1936, a devestating tornado swept through Tupelo, killing 235, while Vernon, Gladys and Elvis took shelter in Vernon's father's (Jessie Presley) home.

- In 1938, Vernon and Gladys' brother, Travis Smith, were convicted on check fraud and sentenced to three years in prison. However, due to good behavior, Vernon was released less than a year later.

- At age 11, Elvis received a guitar for his birthday. He dedicated himself to learning how to play the instument throughout the year, with the help of his uncle, Johnny Smith and the new Assembly of God pastor, Frank Smith.

- Each school day in Elvis' youth, Gladys walked him to the end of what was then Old Saltillo Road, and watched him cross Hwy 78. This was both for safety's sake and to ensure he attended class.

- Starting in 7th Grade, Elvis would take his guitar to school and play for classmates in the basement during recess and lunch.

Other Current Events in 1935:

- It Happened One Night won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

- Henrietta Leaver (Pennsylvania) won the Miss America Pageant.

- Du Pont chemist Wallace Hume Carothers created nylon, the first completely synthetic fabric.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the second phase of New Deal in United States, calling for social security, better housing, equitable taxation and farm assistance.

- George H. Gallup began the "Gallup Poll." In 1936, the poll successfully predicted the outcome of the presidential election.

- James Chadwick won the Nobel Prize in physics, for the discovery of the neutron.

 Planning your own trip to Tupelo?  Visit to see what the town has to offer.