GEORGETOWN, Ky (LEX 18) On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died of heart failure in his Memphis home. One family in the Bluegrass tells LEX 18 that they will never forget the day, as they were standing just feet from Graceland.
Jim Horine and his daughter Cyndi Conn remember the day well. The family was in Memphis for a convention, so they decided to do some sightseeing and they couldn’t pass up a trip to Graceland.
"I remember the gate started to open and I thought I was in trouble because he had been asking me to get off the gate," said Cyndi, who was only four-years-old at the time.
Jim said that all of a sudden, first responders appeared. He said that there were only about a dozen tourists outside of the gate.
"What’s going on? And the security guard replied, ‘someone’s sick up at the house.’ And we didn’t think anything else about it," said Jim.
The family went back to their hotel and just a couple of hours later, they heard the news.
"It was just unbelievable how many people were flowing into Memphis," he said.
Their hotel they were staying at even bought back the banquet hall their organization was planning to use by making a sizeable donation to their cause.
"Major media outlets used that banquet room to sleep in," said Jim.
When the family returned to Graceland that evening, the 12 people that were there that morning turned into around 15,000.
Jim Horine used to work in law enforcement and he worked security for many concerts at Rupp Arena.
He said Elvis had a concert scheduled in Lexington just days after his death.