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Graceland Voted Best Iconic American Attraction

Travelers Today       By    Karen Fredrickson

Updated: Sep 13, 2013 10:40 AM EDT

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Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, the King, was voted the Best Iconic American Attraction, according to USA Today

The public had four weeks to vote on their top choice, including options such as the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore and the White House.

Graceland came out ahead, however, and lived up to its status as an American landmark.

"It was my childhood home," Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis and owner of Graceland, said. "I was born in Memphis and it was my home.

"Wow, that's really incredible," Presley said in response to the home receiving the honor when it was listed among so many other great American landmarks. "I'm very humbled and flattered to hear that.

"It's incredible," Presley continued. "It's just incredible."

Elvis Presley died at Graceland in 1977 at the age of 42. Lisa Marie, who is now 45, was only nine years old at the time. Today, the house is an estate museum open to the public.

"It's got a very special energy there, when you go," Presley said. "It's like a time capsule, nothing's been changed or moved since 1977.

"You can feel it," she continued. "It's from the essence of that time period, it's a very special place."

Elvis became popular in 1954 when he was on Memphis' Sun Records. His recording contract was then acquired by RCA in 1955, and Presley became a movie star less than a year later. He then purchased Graceland with the profits from his hit song "Heartbreak Hotel."

His parents moved into the house with him and after he returned from two years in the army, he had many hit songs and films. He then married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas in 1967. Lisa Marie was born in 1968.

"It was such an incredible place to grow up, very special," Presley said. "It was almost like a big playground for my father and everybody.

"It was my father's sanctuary, and he made it into such a special place," Presley continued. "He made it into a home for a lot of people."

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