They are mostly housewives from Prince George's County and they call themselves the National Holiday for Elvis Committee.

On Aug. 17, a year and day after Elvis Presley died, 50 of them donned their Elvis T-shirts and buttons, wrote his name all over their blue jeans and marched - in the 97-degree heat - from the Washington Monument to Capitol Hill.

Their mission: to deliver 535 letters to congressmen, urging them to make Presley's birthday, Jan. 8, a national holiday "honoring this great American we call Elvis."

But when they arrived on the Hill, they found their cause was cooly received. "Some (congressional) staff people wouldn't even accept our letter," complained committee chairman Donna Crayle, 35, a housewife from Bladensburg who typed and mailed letters to all 535 members of Congress last fall, seeking an Elvis Day.

But Crayle said she did not know how bad things could get until received a letter - on House of Representatives stationery - purportedly from Congressman "Thelius Bunker."

The letter said: "I want to thank you so very much for sending me the letter about your bill to have a national holiday for elves. Ever since I was a little boy I have liked elves. Why, I used to have an imaginary playmate when I was 4 . . . Now you have to tell all your friends in my state that I like all elves and am going to vote for your bill.

"Long live elves."

She called the switchboard at Congress to ask about "Congressman Bunker," and an operator tod her, she said "There's a Congressman (Don) Bonker from Washington."

After placing angry calls to her fellow Elvis fans and to The Washington Post about Rep. Don Bonker (D-Wash.), Crayle discovered that the light-hearted letter was a hoax, and Congressman Thelius Bunker, did not exist.

"I guess somebody pulled one on us," acknowledged Crayle, who said she intended to call Bonker and apologize for the mix-up.

The National Holiday for Elvis Committee and its 100 affiliated groups across the nation, she added, will continue letter-writing and lobbying. "It should be America and its government," writes Crayle in her letters to congressmen, "who should get down on their knees and thank God for giving us this humble and loving ambassador of love."