2014 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Opry’s move to their permanent home at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The only ‘House’ built specifically for the Grand Ole Opry, hosted their first performances on March 16, 1974, to a standing room only crowd, dotted with VIPs.
Most notably among the honored guests was President Nixon, who remains the only US President to have ever performed at the Grand Ole Opry. Taking the stage and utilizing the Opry’s upright piano, Richard Nixon played ‘My Wild Irish Rose,’ ‘God Bless America,” and in honor of the First Lady, celebrating her birthday that evening, ‘Happy Birthday.’
The Opry will be celebrating this historic milestone throughout the year, and backstage tours include a special exhibit which displays the piano President Nixon played, and also the yo-yo which Roy Acuff had on stage that night, and attempted to teach the President to use in front of the packed house.
Be sure to take the backstage tour when you visit the Opry this year.