Budapest to Honour Elvis for support after 1956 uprising

By: Elvis Australia
March 2, 2011

Elvis Presley is to become an official citizen of Budapest. The Hungarian capital has announced plans to commemorate the singer with both an honorary citizenship and a landmark in his name. Elvis is being recognised for his support of the unsuccessful 1956 Hungarian revolution, which aimed to overthrow the country's Soviet government. 'The reasons for honouring Elvis are not sentimental but political', Budapest mayor István Tarlós said yesterday, admitting that he does not own a single Elvis album. The city has launched an online poll, letting fans vote for which local feature should be renamed for the King. The shortlist of 12 landmarks includes street corners, a spot near a shopping mall, and the Buda end of Margit bridge.

The 12 short-listed locations include spectacular city spots like the Buda side of the Margit Bridge over the Danube river, but also several outer districts. Whatever the pick, it will certainly be more prestigious than an already existing Elvis Presley Boulevard - a dirt road on the capital's outskirts, which according to the Hungarian Elvis Presley Fan Club, is located near the home of the country's most famous Elvis impersonator, Laszlo Komar, who used to perform his idol's songs in Hungarian.

Presley was an unlikely champion for the Hungarian people, who turned on their Soviet government in October 1956. Although the revolution was quashed just weeks later, Elvis saluted the uprising in January 1957, during his last appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Then 22, the singer performed Peace in the Valley, a gospel standard, as a tribute to the Hungarians' plight. 'He feels that this is sort of in the mood that he'd like to create', the host explained. At the singer's request, Sullivan solicited the TV audience to donate to Hungarian relief efforts - raising about 25m Swiss francs, according to Tarlos.

Note! Budapest Names Small Park After Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley: The Ed Sullivan Show : January 6, 1957 : His third and final Appearance

Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show : January 6, 1957 : His third and final appearance.
Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show : January 6, 1957 : His third and final appearance.

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