Wednesday, August 17th, 12noon – 3pm; Elvis’ body was returned to Graceland from the funeral home shortly before noon on Wednesday August 17th.
The coffin was placed in the archway between the living room and the music room, so family and friends could view the body. At this time approximately 50,000 mourners had gathered outside the gates of Graceland.
August 17th, 3pm – 6:30pm; Later that day the coffin was moved to the foyer, underneath a crystal chandelier for the public viewing that was scheduled to take place between 3pm and 5pm. At 5pm, Vernon
was persuaded to allow the viewing to continue for yet another hour and a half, since ten thousands of fans was still queued up outside Graceland and down Elvis Presley Boulevard. The Police later reported; Elvis fans knew how to behave themselves…
there were no signs of a riot.
Thursday, August 18th, 8am; Already during the early morning hours thousands of grieving fans had once again gathered outside the
gates of Graceland, and many had spent the night there. A tragedy occurs before 9 o'clock when an 18 year old kid runs his car into the crowd, killing two women. A third woman was severely injured. The driver was allegedly mentally unbalanced.
Thursday, August 18th, 9am; At 9pm more than 100 vans began to move flowers from Graceland to the gravesite. They kept going for more than four hours, and even then not all the flowers
Thursday, August 18th, 12noon; At noon the first invited guests began to arrive at Graceland. Among the guests were Ann-Margret, Chet Atkins and Ray
Blanton (the Governor of Tennessee).
Thursday, August 18th, 12noon; At the same time the singers had begun to prepare the hymns that should be performed during
the ceremony. It was decided that Katy Westmoreland would perform "My Heavenly Father", James Blackwood would perform one of Elvis' own favorite hymns, "How Great Thou Art", and JD Sumner and The Stamps would contribute the majority of the overall program.
Thursday, August 18th, 2pm; The service, ministered by Reverend Bradley, began with the song "Danny Boy". It was originally scheduled that the ceremony would last
for half an hour, but because of the speeches and a desire to perform the hymns Elvis himself had cherished so deep, it lasted for more than an hour. Vernon was grieving heavily over his son's death, and he wept during most of the sermon. After the service
the 900-pound copper coffin was carried by pallbearers Jerry Schilling, Joe Esposito, George Klein, Lamar Fike, Billy Smith, Charlie Hodges, Gene Smith, and Dr. George Nichopoulous into the waiting hearse.
August 18th, 3:30pm; Elvis' burial began with a long procession, involving seventeen white limousines, down the street that bore his name. Approximately 80,000 people had lined up along the processional
route to Forest Hill Cemetery.
Thursday, August 18th, 4 – 4:30pm; A small service was then held in the mausoleum at Forest Hill Cemetery, followed by the
paying of respects from family and friends. Vernon was the last to pay his respects. He kissed the coffin and repeated "Daddy will be with you soon". Elvis was officially buried at 4:30pm next to his mother. He was wearing a white suit and a blue shirt.
Back home to the Meditation Garden; After a failed break-in by grave robbers, it was decided on October 3rd, 1977 to move Elvis’ body to its present location in the Meditation Garden at Graceland.