Stamp Dedication at Elvis’ Birthplace
Just Chasing Rabbits April 13, 2016
Last year, the US Postal Service released another Elvis Presley stamp, and I was able to attend the stamp dedication ceremony held at Elvis’ Birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi.
with Mr. Guy Harris, historian at the birthplace and Elvis' childhood friend
The original Elvis stamp, released in 1992, was one of the most popular commemorative stamps ever, so there was never a doubt that this new stamp would follow in its footsteps.
On August 12, 2015, fans gathered at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee for the stamp dedication on the first day of issue. One day later, I was seated in crowd of people at Elvis’ Birthplace for the second-day dedication.

See Related: Elvis’ Graceland: Inside The King’s Palace in Memphis, Tennessee

stamp dedication program booklet
Stamp dedication program.
Before this event, I had never attended at stamp dedication. If they’re all this special, I would definitely attend another. Of course, this one tugged at my heart a little bit since we do live here, near the birthplace of Elvis.
USPS employees were on-hand with all of the new Elvis stamps and related memorabilia. Buying a few items was my reason for going because I definitely wanted the event-specific cancellation on my stamps (which can be seen on my program in the photo above).

See Related: Taking the Elvis Tour of Tupelo, Mississippi

I received my program and took a seat in the audience. This was a big deal in the Tupelo area, and news crews were on-hand to cover the ceremony.
With Mr. Guy Harris, historian at Elvis’ birthplace and Elvis’ childhood friend.
The ceremony began with the presentation of the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and “The Star Spangled Banner.” It felt oh, so officially American!
Of the speakers, the most memorable is Mr. Guy Harris, historian at the birthplace. He was great friends with Elvis and grew up with him right here in Tupelo. The emotion in his voice as he talked about his friend was very, very touching.
Posing with my Elvis stamps
Posing with my Elvis stamps.
After the completion of the ceremony, I wandered around talking with a few people that I’m acquainted with and meeting new friends.
I loved hearing how far some people had traveled for the event (Pennsylvania!) and meeting a few die-hard Elvis fans that were a bit over the top (in a good way, of course!).
Chatting with Mrs. Louise Smith, Elvis' cousin
Chatting with Mrs. Louise Smith, Elvis’ cousin.

I even got the chance to speak with Mrs. Louise Smith who just so happens to be Elvis’ first cousin! This lady actually LIVED at Graceland with the Presleys! Mrs. Louise is absolutely precious and so kind to her cousin’s fans. I could see her beaming with pride! I am honored to have met and spoken with this beautiful woman!

Elvis cake
Elvis cake!
While mingling, we also got to enjoy some Elvis cake to celebrate the occasion. I was a bit worried that some of the fans would try to get away with the entire cake, but they shared! Okay, so I’m joking with the super dedicated fans, but we all know some of you can be intense!

See Related: Graceland Too: The Legacy of Elvis’ Number One Fan

holding Guy Harris' photo depicting him and Elvis
Holding one of Mr. Guy’s photos, which shows Elvis standing on the left and Mr. Guy sitting just next to him.
After the ceremony, I accompanied a few Elvis fans to Johnnie’s Drive-In (Tupelo’s oldest restaurant and one of Elvis’ former hangouts) and was delighted to see Mr. Guy Harris there recounting his stories of running around with Elvis when they were kids and teenagers.

See Related: Johnnie’s Drive-In: Tupelo, Mississippi’s Oldest Restaurant

He shared tons of photos with us. I knew that I would eventually meet someone from this area that knew Elvis, but to see the photos and hear the stories inside a restaurant where Elvis ate and on the day of the stamp dedication was amazing.
Anyone visiting the birthplace will be amazed at Elvis’ humble beginnings, but I really got the full effect of Elvis as both legend and regular kid from Mississippi in the same day. I’m too young to have ever known Elvis or to have seen him in concert, but hearing stories of “The King” from his hometown best friend is probably the next best thing! I will never forget this experience!
Are you and Elvis fan? Did you buy any of the new Elvis stamps? Have you visited Elvis’ Birthplace or Tupelo? What other stamps have you collected? Let us know in the comments below!
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Jennifer is the founder of Just Chasing Rabbits travel blog. She lives in Mississippi with husband/travel companion, Mark, and doggie-daughter, Gizmo. After obtaining a BA degree in studio art and working in the field of photography for years, Jenni has combined her love of travel and photography to form this blog. Mark and Jenni share their experiences in hopes of inspiring others to have wonderful adventures and see the world.
You can follow Jenni on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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