Elvis Presley Birthplace – Tupelo, MS

306 Elvis Presley Drive
Tupelo, Misssippi
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday (May-September); 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday (October through April) and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday year round. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The most significant landmark of Tupelo’s modern history is a modest, two-room house where the King of Rock & Roll was born on January 8, 1935. From this humble beginning, Elvis Presley began his swift rise to become the world’s most popular entertainer.

The house, built by his father with $180, draws over 50,000 visitors each year from across the world.

Tupelo bought the house and land with money provided from a 1956 Tupelo concert by Elvis himself, who wanted a park for neighborhood children. As an official Mississippi landmark, the birthplace is part of the 15-acre Elvis Presley Park. It includes expansion of the main parking lot to accommodate motorcoaches, a garden walkway system, new entrance signs, an expanded gift shop and beautiful landscaping.

The Elvis Presley Memorial Museum has been remodele to better explain the early days of Elvis in rural Mississippi and how his roots influenced his future. The Chapel, built by donations from his fans, is a popular attraction in the park offering a time for meditation.

The large Main Building on the grounds houses the museum as well as a spacious gift shop, with more than 1,300 square feet of shop, office and storage space. In August, 2003, a story wall was unveiled offering a collection of original, unedited stories from people who knew Elvis during his Tupelo days. The “Walk of Life”, which surrounds the house where Elvis was born, is a scored concrete circle with dated granite blocks denoting each year of Elvis’ life from 1935 to 1977. The 1948 block marks the year in which Elvis and his family left for Memphis, and it leads to the “Elvis at 13” bronze statue, which was unveiled on Elvis’ 67th birthday and memorializes Elvis as a young boy wearing overalls and carrying a guitar. From there the walkway leads to “The Fountain of Life”, a beautiful water feature, which is a complete circle representing Elvis’ life in Tupelo. As you wind around the walkway you can view a 1939 green Plymouth 4-door sedan, similar to the car in which he and his family rode to Memphis in. It was the year of 1948 when the transformation of Elvis, as a young Tupelo boy began his journey as Elvis, the world’s greatest entertainer.

Tupelo Automobile Museum – Tupelo, MS

1 Otis Drive
Hours: Open 7 days a week; M-Sat. 9:00AM-4:30PM and Sunday Noon – 4:30PM. Closed Christmas, New Year Day, Easter and Thanksgiving.

Featuring 120,000 square feet of automobile displays and open viewing restoration bays, the Tupelo Automobile Museum is a dream for car lovers or for those who just want to stroll down memory lane.

Over 100 antique, classic and collectible automobiles, chronologically displayed, illustrate the progress of over 100 years of automobile design and engineering. A self-guided tour starts with an 1886 Benz, representing the birth of the automobile and culminates with a never-driven 1994 Dodge Viper. The collection, valued at over $6 million, includes a rare Tucker, a Lincoln previously owned by Elvis Presley, other movie and celebrity vehicles, Hispano Suizas, a Duesenberg and many more rare brands and American favorites.

The collection was put together to illustrate the advancement of the automotive body and mechanical designs from the late 1800’s forward. These include steam and electric vehicles of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s to the various advancements such as pneumatic tires, electric starters and numerous attempts to find a replacement for the manual transmission.

Ongoing vehicle restoration projects can be viewed through windows into restoration areas. The automobiles under restoration will be added to the display area as they are completed.

The museum is available for private and corporate functions and special group tours.

Battle of Iuka

September 19, 1862

As part of a larger Confederate offensive move into Kentucky, Confederate General Braxton Bragg ordered Major General Sterling Price, former governor of Missouri and victor of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, to march into Iuka to prevent Union Major General William S. Rosecrans from moving into Tennessee to reinforce a Union garrison at Nashville, thus potentially threatening Bragg’s forces.

Union Major General Ulysses S. Grant, commanding the Army of the Tennessee, feared that Price was moving to reinforce Bragg’s forces in Kentucky. Grant devised a plan to catch Price’s forces in a pincher movement in Iuka. Grant ordered Major General E. O. C. Ord to advance on Iuka from the west. Rosecran’s forces were to advance on Iuka from the southwest and make a coordinated attack on Price. Ord arrived on time but Rosecrans was delayed. Grant ordered Ord to await the sound of fighting between Rosecrans and Price before engaging the Confederates. Rosecrans arrived about mid-afternoon atop a ridge near Iuka and immediately engaged the Confederates.

Price posted two divisions north of Iuka to oppose Ord and was surprised by Rosecrans’ sudden appearance in his rear. The Confederates launched an attack and captured a six-gun Union battery while Rosecrans attacked from atop the ridge. Price reported that he had “never seen such fighting.” The battle raged even after darkness fell.

The Battle of Iuka was one of the bloodiest battles up to that time, with Union casualities of 782 out of a force of 4,500 and Confederate casualities of 1,516 out of a force of 3,200. Confederate Brigadier General Henry Little was also killed in action at the Battle of Iuka. Remarkably, neither Ord nor Grant heard the sounds of the battle due to what is known as “acoustic shadow.” Price’s army was able to escape during the night to join Major General Earl Van Dorn at Ripley. Union forces occupied Iuka and mounted an unsuccessful pursuit of Price.

Union forces carried the day but failed to capture or destroy Price’s forces. Price and Van Dorn in October 1862 launched an assault on Corinth which also resulted in a Union victory.