Everyone likes to leave their job with a bang. Perhaps the most infamous example is the story of the "vandalism" done to the White House by outgoing Clinton Administration staff including the removal of the W keys from all of the computers. Although most of the accusations weren't true they made for a good story.
When I quit my last job I left a scathing open letter to the head of the organization, complaining about my direct supervisor, on the desktop of my computer. I later heard that she kept my entire workstation in lockdown mode for a week while she went through every file in every folder on every drive in order to purge the computer of evidence. While I never actually sent the letter the desired effect was achieved.
So I was wondering the other day, what sort of odd pleasure outgoing Interior Secretary Gale Norton must be feeling knowing that her swan song is the naming of Graceland as a National Historic Landmark. While Graceland is certainly a popular vacation destination, in terms of histroical significance, it hardly compares with The White House, Mount Vernon or Alcatraz Island.
Don't get me wrong, I like Elvis as much as the next guy. His pre-Army music helped lay the foundation for Rock'n'Roll and his performance of Hound Dog on the Ed Sullivan show in 1956 was legendary. Unfortunately, once he left the Army, he also left behind much of what made him great. His later life devolved into something of a sad cartoon for which Graceland served as a fittingly decadent canvas. A more proper tribute to Elvis and the birth of Rock'n'Roll would be to designate Sun Studio a National Landmark. It is there that history was actually made.
However, now that it's official let me suggest a few more locations for consideration:
* Lake Merwin, Oregon reputed landing site of fugitive D.B. Cooper.
* 7th St. and Nicollet Av. in Mpls, MN. This was the site made famous during the opening credits of the Mary Tyler Moore show. It has since been immortalized in bronze.
* Jellystone National Park, home of Yogi Bear and the place where I fell into a campfire at the age of 4. I still have the scar to prove it.
* The Bermuda Triangle although I'm afraid the sign would likely disappear.
* Lake Wobegon, MN. Where the women are strong, the men are good looking and all the children are above average.