Elvis Presley, who had Irish roots in County Wicklow, has been awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor by President Trump.
President Donald Trump has announced that Elvis Presley and Babe Ruth will be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
In 2018, the President is awarding the honor to seven people. This year's group is notable for both its number of former athletes (three) and its number of posthumous awardees (three, as well). The recipients are chosen by the President alone.
This year's picks also include former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach; former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page, who later served as the first African-American judge on the state’s Supreme Court; philanthropist Miriam Adelson; Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
A court document from the 18th-century has provided proof that Elvis Presley had Irish roots.
Read more: Exploring Elvis Presley’s Irish roots
The paper, which dates from 1775, shows that William Presley, the singer’s great-great-great-great-grandfather, left Leinster for a new life in America, the Irish Times reports.
Presley, a farmer, originally came from the townland of Stranakelly near Shillelagh, County Wicklow.
According to the court document, he claimed he had been savagely assaulted by a group of men in Hacketstown, in neighboring County Carlow.
In Carlow Court of Assizes on August 25, 1775, Presley said he had been “violently insulted, assaulted, beat and abused” by a group of Wicklow men.
The men used their “whips and fists, dragged him down by the legs,” and when down, gave him “several kicks in his body and face,” all “without any provocation.”
Presley told the magistrate that the men were “swearing they would have his life.”
He said was now in “great dread and fear of his life.”
White House announces POTUS to give presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to:
Elvis Presley— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 10, 2018
He also named the perpetrators: “Andrew Morris of Mullannashea; Francis Morris of Whiterock; Samuel Morris of Cross; Thomas Morris, William Wilson, Thomas Matthers and Several Other Persons whose names Deponent knoweth not.”
The magistrate said he would list the case for a further hearing, although what happened next in court remains unknown.
Later that year, Presley left Ireland for America with his son Andrew, settling first in New Orleans. He later moved to Tennessee, where he died in 1802.
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