The Auction at Graceland•March 4, 2017
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/4/2017
Gary Pepper was president of the Elvis Tankers fan club and a close friend to the Presley family. The relationship began when Gary heard that Gladys was keeping a scrapbook on Elvis, and he began sending her newspaper clippings. Gary and his family formed a relationship with the entire Presley family and Elvis even employed Gary’s father as a guard at Graceland. During the 1960s, Gary took an active role in collecting signatures on a petition to change the name of Memphis’ Mid-South Coliseum to Elvis Presley Coliseum. He used The Tankcaster and Elvis Presley Magazine to gather signatures from around the globe. His campaign to change the coliseum’s name was nearly successful with the mayor of Memphis, Bill Ingram, but the potential change sparked controversy among the city and county commissioners, who quickly rejected Ingram’s decision. As part of Gary’s efforts, he created the offered pinback button with a black-and-white image of the coliseum at the center on a red ground with white lettering reading “I’m for the Elvis Presley Coliseum.” Though Gary’s campaign to get the Coliseum named after Elvis was unsuccessful, his efforts eventually led to the naming of Elvis Presley Boulevard. The button measures 3 1/2 inches (8.89 cm) in diameter and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.
The rare button has staining around the edges and some areas of rust and patina on the reverse, with a minor dent near the rusted pin back. Overall good condition.