Did you know that Elvis invited himself to the White House while Nixon resided there? Or how about 15 years later, when in the same house, John Travolta would share a dance with Princess Diana? Lots of unexpected moments like these have occurred and history has almost forgotten them, but we’re here to remind you. Take a look at history’s forgotten moments! You’ll never guess how Freddie Mercury returned on stage for encores in 1980.
A Republican President Invites The King Into His Oval Office
When Elvis wants a badge from the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, he invites himself over to the White House to get one. That’s exactly what is going on in this surprising photo from 1970.
Elvis flew into Washington and wrote to Nixon, “I can and will be of any service that I can to help the country out,” in return for the badge. Within hours, Presley managed to gain access to the President, who surprisingly was happy to oblige.
Albert Einstein Gave A Lecture At An HBCU In The ’40s
In 1946, Albert Einstein visited Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University, the first historically black university to grant college degrees. The undisputed genius was ahead of America’s own Civil Rights Movement and deplored racism as a “disease of white people.”
During his visit, Einstein received an honorary degree and treated students to a lecture on relativity. Unfortunately, this historic moment was widely ignored by the mainstream press, who turned a blind eye to the physicist’s fraternizing with people of color.
Freddie Mercury’s Grand Re-entrance Was Enough To Distract From His Mustache
“You may be cool, but you will never be Freddie Mercury riding Darth Vader cool,” said the person who shared this legendary photo on Reddit. A statement that rings true for many.
Freddie Mercury was always known for being over-the-top, so for The Game Tour of 1980, he would come out for the encore on the shoulders of Darth Vader. At the time, Mercury’s newly grown mustache was the ire of many loyal fans, who were so perturbed they threw razors onstage.
Speaking of a queen, this princess had the time of her life dancing with Tony Manero himself.
These Beefy Men Had Beef With Each Other Back Then
At some point in the 1980s, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone met up for a workout session in Venice Beach. This was odd because you might recall that the two actors appeared to be fierce rivals at the time.
In 1985, Schwarzenegger even said, “I’d be angry at hearing my name mentioned in the same breath as Stallone’s.” But in the present day, they seem to have buried the hatchet. They even co-headline movies together.
Carrie Fisher Related To Princess Leia On A Personal Level
Looks like Carrie Fisher made a splash as Princess Leia for her 1983 Rolling Stone cover shoot. The actress was promoting the recently finished Return of the Jedi, the third Star Wars installment.
In her interview, Fisher made parallels between her real life and the life of her character. Princess Leia’s dad was lured to the Dark Side, so her mother married the rich King Organa. In real life, Eddie Fisher was lured away by Liz Taylor, leaving Debbie Reynolds as a woman scorned.
Princess Diana And John Travolta Had Saturday Night Fever
John Travolta had the pleasure of dancing with none other than Princess Diana at the 1985 White House Gala Dinner. Their dance was one of the most memorable moments of the night, as they glided across the Entrance Hall to the music of 1977s Saturday Night Fever, in which Travolta starred.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles stayed at the White House during this visit and Diana wore this dress designed by Victor Edelstein. It thusly became known as the “Travolta Dress.”
In the ’70s, one girl was showing up all the boys in the world of skateboarding.
Johnny Cash Performed A Song Written By An Inmate For At Folsom Prison
Johnny Cash began touring American prisons after inmates wrote to him following the success of his song, “Folsom Prison Blues.” Cash finally visited Folsom State Prison in 1968. His performance was recorded live and released at his 27th album, At Folsom Prison.
Cash performed two sessions that day, planning the second in case the first wasn’t good enough. At the end of each session, he performed “Greystone Chapel,” a song written by Folsom inmate Glen Sherley, whose hand Cash is shaking in this photo.
Louis Armstrong Fought Communism With The Power Of Jazz
In this photo from 1961, Louis Armstrong performs for his wife in front of the Sphinx. Armstrong and his wife were in Egypt at the time as “jazz ambassadors” in part of what was known as “jazz diplomacy.”
The U.S. believed that jazz could be used as a weapon against the Cold War. They sent popular jazz musicians to tour all over the world with hopes of spreading democracy and freedom to countries threatened by communist dictatorships.
Skateboarder Ellen O’Neal Hangs Ten In Style
Ellen O’Neal is known in the skateboarding community as one of the greatest freestylers in the game. She became a World Skateboarding Champion, holding the World Freestyle title as she competed throughout the late ’70s.
O’Neal was born and raised in San Diego, where skateboard culture was at its height during the ’70s, as evidenced by her short shorts. As a teen, she had only been skating for about a year before she started picking up sponsors.
Coming up, you’ll never believe what fell into Robert Plant’s hands during a Led Zeppelin concert!
Jungle Pam Was A Fixture On The Drag Racing Scene
This woman is Pam Hardy, also known as Jungle Pam. Jungle Pam arose on the drag racing scene in the ’70s as the bodacious sidekick to drag racing legend, Jim Liberman.
Hardy met Liberman in 1973 when she was still in high school and working at a convenience store in Pennsylvania. Hardy traveled the country with Liberman and helped him back out his cars after he performed burnouts. Hardy left the drag race scene in 1977 after Liberman passed away in a non-racing accident.
Cher Was Ahead Of Her Time In 1974
Cher wore this iconic number at the 1974 Met Gala, where that year’s theme was “Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design.” By then, Cher’s solo career was on the rise, while she and first husband Sonny Bono were on the brink of divorce.
Because celebrities today often wear outfits that leave little to the imagination, Cher’s gown in this photo might seem like nothing new. But not for 1974. Back then, Cher’s revolutionary style shocked people to the core, but that only made her the red carpet legend that she is.
Doves Flew At Led Zeppelin’s 1973 North American Tour
A dove flew into Robert Plant’s hand during a Led Zeppelin concert in 1973. It must have been a magical moment for folks in the audience, but many people on the Internet claim that the moment was staged.
Either way, Led Zeppelin was at one of the high points of their career and their 1973 North American Tour broke attendance records. They played three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden and they performed for over 56,000 fans in Tampa, Florida, breaking a record previously set by The Beatles.
Coming up, we have evidence that the Kennedys might have fit right in with today’s millennials.
Clarice Davis Is Crowned The First African-American Homecoming Queen In 1951
Clarice Davis was a senior at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois when she was elected as Homecoming Queen in 1951. Davis was the first African-American woman to be elected Homecoming Queen at a major university.
This is a photo of her passing by in front of a packed stadium, where the University of Illinois defeated Iowa at their Homecoming game. Ms. Davis graduated the following year in 1952.
Portraying A Sadistic Shapeshifting Clown Can Be Pretty Taxing At Times…
…as evidenced by this photo of Tim Curry taking a smoke break in the cold rain on the set of the 1990 version of It. Though he was playing a character, Curry was so good he would scare the child actors.
“I have a lot of sympathy for child actors,” Curry once said, recalling a moment when he grabs a child’s hand to join him in the gutter. “He stopped and said, ‘Tim, you’re scaring me.’ I said, ‘Gee, I’m so sorry, but that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.'”
The Kennedys Took Mirror Selfies Before Myspace Was Even A Concept
Kids these days always get criticized for taking selfies, but as you can see, history only repeats itself because Jackie Kennedy was taking selfies before it was even a thing! Here she is, posing with a young JFK and her sister-in-law Ethel Kennedy.
Historian Michael Beschloss shared this photo via Twitter in 2014, saying that it was taken 60 years prior. If this is the case, this was taken when JFK was still on the U.S. Senate and nearly ten years before his untimely assassination.
See which rock princess was getting autographs from her idols in the ’80s.
The Last-Known Photo Of James Dean Before His Death
James Dean is pictured here at a gas station north of Los Angeles on September 30, 1955. He was filling up his silver Porsche 550 Spyder named “Little Bastard,” in preparation for a road race he would never make it to.
“Little Bastard” was said to be cursed because shortly after this photo was taken, Dean died in a near head-on collision on his way to the race. The actor was only 24 years old at the time and had just finished filming his last movie, Giant.
These Guitar Heroes Met In 1966 And Their Lives Were Changed Forever
In the ’60s, many people believed that Eric Clapton was the guitar god until they heard Jimi Hendrix play. Even Clapton was impressed by Hendrix, who was brought to London after he failed to gain a following in the U.S.
Of their first meeting in 1966, Clapton recalled, “[Hendrix] played just about every style you could think of, and not in a flashy way. I mean he did a few of his tricks… but it wasn’t in an upstaging sense at all, and that was it … He walked off, and my life was never the same again.”
Gwen Stefani Was Getting Autographs Before Doling Them Out Herself
Back in 2014, Gwen Stefani shared this photo of her younger self getting an autograph from Sting. This photo dates back to 1983 when Gwen was 14 years old and according to her, “chunky.”
At the time, Sting had not yet gone solo and was still the frontman of The Police. By 1983, The Police had won six Grammy Awards and their final album, Synchronicity, was nominated for another five, including Album of the Year.
Natalie Wood Went From Child Star To Leading Lady
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
Natalie Wood must have spent many days by the pool as she is in this photo circa 1965. Wood successfully made the transition from child star to leading lady after starring alongside James Dean in 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause.
In 1961, she starred as Maria in the film adaptation of West Side Story. By the time this photo was taken, Wood had already earned three Academy Award nominations before the age of 26, which was a record she held for 50 years until Jennifer Lawrence broke it in 2014.
Pubescent Metallica Performed Their First Show In 1982
A teenaged-version of Metallica posed for this group picture back in 1982. That was the same year that the band performed their first show at Radio City in Anaheim, California where they played only two original songs, “Hit the Lights” and “Jump in the Fire.”
In late 1981, Lars Ulrich put an advertisement in his local newspaper, looking for fellow metal musicians he could jam with. James Hetfield was one of the first guitarists to answer the ad.