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Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion, officially opened for public tours 32 years ago, on June 7, 1982.
3,024 Graceland tour tickets were sold on that first day, June 7, 1982.
On the opening day Elvis Aunt, Delta Presley Biggs and Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, cut the ribbon to officially open Graceland to the public. There were tour guides in each room equipped with knowledge of Graceland Mansion. The Kitchen was not added to the Graceland tour until 1993. During the tours Aunt Delta, continued to live at Graceland with her dog Edmond, until her death in 1993.
"I realized as it was going on that there really wasn't any money that could support Graceland or any of the people that worked for Elvis that were still there," said Priscilla Presley. "I had a decision to make to somehow save Graceland."
"We had no idea whether 30 people were coming, or 300, or 3,000 that first day, Fortunately, it was the latter," said Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, who helped Priscilla Presley with her plan.
To augment the $500,000 investment, Graceland pre-sold tickets, generating enough money to buy uniforms for the tour guides. The first month was such a success that they made back the half-million dollars in about 38 days, Soden said.
Elvis purchased Graceland in March of 1957 for around $100,00 dollars. Graceland is a large white-columned mansion and 13.8-acre estate. It was built in 1939 by Dr. Thomas Moore and his wife Ruth Brown Moore. The mansion is constructed of limestone and consists of twenty-three rooms, including eight bedrooms and bathrooms. Graceland is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard.
Graceland welcomes over 600,000 visitors each year, is one of the five most visited home tours in the United States, and is the most famous home in America after The White House.
On November 7, 1991, Graceland was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and declared a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006.