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March 11,  2018   -   Clarion Ledger   /   Elvis Express Radio
Martha Carr wanted to meet Elvis Presley.

So she and a few friends from Jackson traveled to Memphis on Jan. 18, 1971, to the Jaycees’ 10 Outstanding Young Men of America ceremony — now known as the 10 Outstanding
Young Americans.

Elvis was the final recipient that evening at the old Ellis Auditorium.

“Of course, every woman was trying to get to Elvis,” Carr says. “But security would stop them and send them back. It looked like I wasn't going to meet Elvis, after all.

“But my friends kept urging me, ‘Go on, Martha. Go see Elvis.’ We were only about 40 feet from him. So I finally walked over toward him.”

She was stopped by security, only to have Elvis step in: “Let her come on,” he said.

“I had my program for him to sign, and he did,” Carr says. “Elvis said, ‘Would you like my water glass?’ I said, ‘Yes, please.’ He said, ‘Would you like my nametag?’ ‘Of course,’ I told

“That water glass has never been cleaned. It’s in a shadow box with the nametag in the glass and the autographed program displayed. His DNA has never been washed out of that
glass — and never will be.”

Says Carr’s niece Kim Smith of Raymond: “Martha was a looker then and she’s a looker now. I can see why Elvis told security to let her through.”

Other facts about that day
What most people do not know is how special Elvis viewed the Jaycees award. For one of the few times in his life, he was honored for more than just his music.The award was
given “to those who best exemplify the highest attributes of the nation’s emerging generation.”

Elvis and his wife, Priscilla, held a reception at their home, Graceland, for the other nine recipients, who were from various career backgrounds — military service, medical
research, local government, state affairs, business and volunteer service.

In his speech, the Tupelo native remembered wanting to be a hero. “When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer," Elvis said. "I read comic books, and I was
the hero of the comic books … every dream I’ve dreamed has come true 100 times.” He also paid tribute to his fellow recipients: “These gentlemen are the type who care, who are

Elvis was 35 at the time. He died seven years later.

The suit he wore and the trophy he received that night are on display at Graceland.

And the man who presented Elvis his award, George H. W. Bush, became America’s 41st president 18 years later.

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A name-tag (no last name needed), signed program and drinking glass, all belonging to Elvis Presley, now sit in a shadow box in the home of Jacksonian Martha Carr, who met the
Tupelo native at an awards ceremony in Memphis in 1971. The king of rock 'n roll told security to let Carr through to see him.