Budapest to honour Elvis for support after 1956 uprising
Saturday 05 March 2011
Budapest will name one of its squares after US rock icon Elvis Presley and make him an honorary citizen for his support after Hungarians' 1956 anti-communist uprising.
"The reasons for honouring Elvis are not sentimental but political," mayor Istvan Tarlos said Wednesday making the announcement.
On January 6, 1957, the legendary singer and actor appeared on US television variety programme The Ed Sullivan Show where he sang the gospel song "Peace in the Valley" as a tribute to the short-lived Hungarian revolt, which was crushed two months earlier by Soviet tanks.
At Presley's request, host Ed Sullivan asked viewers to send donations to Hungarians, which amounted to 26 million Swiss francs in 1957, according to Tarlos, who admitted he did not own a single Elvis Presley CD.
Budapest residents now get to pick which square will bear the King of Rock n'Roll's name in an Internet vote.
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.
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