Hays, Brooks

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Baptist lawyer and congressman from Arkansas. Served on the Christian Life Commission and served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1957-1959.

From the description of Papers [microform], 1950-1959. (Hudson Valley Community College). WorldCat record id: 72533314

From the description of Papers, 1950-1959. (Hudson Valley Community College). WorldCat record id: 51231066

Employee of U.S. Department of Agriculture and later U.S. representative from Arkansas, presidential advisor, educator, and president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

From the description of Brooks Hays letter and memorandum, 1935. (University of Arkansas - Fayetteville). WorldCat record id: 28211071

U.S. representative from Arkansas, presidential advisor, educator, and president of the Southern Baptist Convention, born Lawrence Brooks Hays.

From the description of Brooks Hays supplementary papers, 1894-1981. (University of Arkansas - Fayetteville). WorldCat record id: 28162404

U.S. Congressman from Arkansas; staff assistant to John F. Kennedy, and L.B. Johnson; Director of the Ecumenical Institute, Wake Forest University; and Chairman of the North Carolina Good Neighbor Council.

From the description of Lawrence Brooks Hays Papers, 1916-1982. (Wake Forest University - ZSR Library). WorldCat record id: 60690695

Congressman, government official.

From the description of Reminiscences of(Lawrence) Brooks Hays : oral history, 1970. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122565596

Brooks Lawrence Hays (1898-1981) was the only child of Adelbert Steele Hays, a lawyer, and Sallie T. Butler. He was raised in the western frontier region of Arkansas, near the border with Oklahoma, itself only a few years removed from its designation as Indian Territory. His relatives were Democrats and Baptists, the dominant political and religious groups in Arkansas, and Hays was throughout his life identified with both groups. Hays attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville from 1915 to 1919, interrupting his studies briefly to serve in the army during the last months of World War I. He then attended George Washington University School of Law from 1919 to 1922, earning the LL.B. degree, and passed the Arkansas bar. On 2 February 1922 he married Marion Prather of Arkansas; they had two children. Just before his twenty-fourth birthday, he began the practice of law with his father''s firm in Russellville, Arkansas; the firm''s name became Hays, Priddy and Hays when he joined. Finding the daily work in a law office tedious, Hays began almost immediately to dabble in politics, first managing an unsuccessful race for Congress by his father in 1922, then looking for his own chance to run for office. He was for a long time hampered by his youth, the fact that his family was known to oppose the activities of the Ku Klux Klan, and the opinion in his rural district that he was the child of a wealthy man, sent by his father to a fancy eastern law school. He persisted, however, because he was sure that politics was his calling. He began to hone his oratorical skills, which were enhanced by a disarming sense of humor. In 1924 he managed the successful campaign of a candidate for Arkansas attorney general and was appointed the winner''s assistant. He moved his family to Little Rock, where he began making regular appearances before the Arkansas Supreme Court. In 1927, although at the time of the primary election he was too young to take office, he ran for governor of Arkansas. He assured voters that he would reach the required age of thirty before the general election. Placing second in the Democratic primary, due in part to widespread voting fraud, he ran again in 1930 but once again placed second. In 1933, in what has been called "the most fraudulent election in Arkansas history," he lost a special election to Congress and in financial desperation accepted a job in 1934 with the New Deal Arkansas National Recovery Administration. He remained a political appointee for the next decade. He longed for the power of elective office but found fulfillment in New Deal activity because his work had a kind of ministerial flavor. He believed that he had both a political and a religious vocation, and during this "social work" period of his life each influenced the other. In 1942, when the man who had defeated him in 1933 decided to run for the U.S. Senate, Hays sought and won the House of Representatives seat from the Fifth District of Arkansas. He won reelection seven times, serving in the House from 1943 to 1959. He was known in Congress for his sense of social justice, his political humor, and his spellbinding oratory. He served from the start on the Banking and Currency Committee, his third choice, but soon found a place on the Foreign Affairs Committee, where he spent much of his energy in the post-World War II and cold war eras. Foreign affairs, like his New Deal legal work, satisfied a need in him for "ministry." It was a political form of missionary work. Hays was a deeply and publicly religious man, one of the most prominent in Congress during his years there. He was a devoted Baptist, a popular Sunday school teacher both in Little Rock and in Washington, and a lay minister. During their early, seventeenth-century days in England, Baptists depended on lay leadership, but twentieth-century Southern Baptists tended to elect ordained clergymen to administrative posts. It was therefore unusual for a layman like Hays, particularly a politician, to rise in Baptist ranks to serve on cardinal committees and to be elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention twice, in 1957 and 1958. While president he encouraged policies and introduced programs that were severely attacked by conservatives as communist and unchristian. But he used his famous humor to defuse most of the explosive confrontations and left the office highly respected. Hays reached the top of his political career, and paradoxically its nadir as well, in 1957 and 1958, at the very time he was president of the Southern Baptist Convention. When Little Rock Central High School was ordered by the federal courts to integrate and Arkansas governor Orval Faubus opposed the decree and refused to maintain order, Hays, as the congressman representing Little Rock in Washington, felt compelled to step in and mediate the controversy. With violence possible, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent in federal troops. At the next election, in 1958, with the Arkansas electorate seething over what it considered a federal invasion and what it perceived to be Hays''s capitulation to the courts, Faubus forces organized a write-in vote in support of a challenger, Dale Alford, an outspoken segregationist, and Hays was turned out of office. His final years, from age sixty to his death, were among his best. Eisenhower appointed him to the three-member board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, in which capacity he served from 1959 to 1961. President John F. Kennedy made him assistant secretary of state for congressional affairs (1961), where he became a troubleshooter for New Frontier policies. He worked for Great Society legislation as a special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson. He even returned to Arkansas in 1966 to run for governor at age sixty-eight, but once more, now considered a raving liberal, he was unsuccessful. He went on to guest lectureships, a stint as director of the Ecumenical Institute at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (1968-1970), and even a final political race in 1972, for a North Carolina congressional seat, enlivening a lost cause with an energy remarkable for someone seventy-four. A greatly respected elder statesman, he died of a stroke at his Washington, D.C., apartment. He is buried at Oakland Cemetery in Russellville, Arkansas.

From the description of Hays, L. Brooks (Lawrence Brooks), 1898-1981 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10677873

U.S. representative from Arkansas, presidential advisor, educator and president of the Southern Baptist Convention, born Lawrence Brooks Hays.

From the description of Brooks Hays addendum papers, 1916-1991. (University of Arkansas - Fayetteville). WorldCat record id: 28162427

From the description of Brooks Hays papers, 1915-1978. (University of Arkansas - Fayetteville). WorldCat record id: 28090585

U.S. representative from Arkansas, presidential advisor, educator, and president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

From the description of Brooks Hays addresses and articles, 1961-1965. (University of Arkansas - Fayetteville). WorldCat record id: 28211050

United States Congressman from Arkansas, 1943 to 1959. Hays served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1957-1959 and as a member of the Christian Life Commission from 1948 to 1960.

From the description of Oral memoirs of Lawrence Brooks Hays, 1975-1977. (Hudson Valley Community College). WorldCat record id: 34879853

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Nelson, Lowry, 1893-. Lowry Nelson papers, 1934-1965. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Owen, Richard Newton, 1898-. Collection, 1950-1978. Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives
creatorOf Warren I. Cikins Papers. 1948 - 2011. Brooks Hays Files
referencedIn Southern Baptist Convention. Sunday School Board. Executive Office. James Lenox Sullivan Papers, 1940-1981. Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Brooks Hays papers, 1915-1978. University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, University Libraries
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Brooks Hays : commercials, 1972. University of Oklahoma, Political Community Archives
referencedIn Stagg, Frank, 1911-2001. Papers, 1958-1960. Box 3. Samford University Library, University Library; Harwell G. Davis Library
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Brooks Hays addendum papers, 1916-1991. University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, University Libraries
referencedIn Raymond Leslie Buell Papers, 1915-1984, (bulk 1920-1946) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Photographs of Official Activities of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 1953 - 1961. Photograph of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Arkansas Governor Orval E. Faubus and Arkansas Congressman Brooks Hays at the Naval Base in Newport, Rhode Island, following a Two Hour Conference on the Little Rock School Integration Controversy
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Brooks Hays letter and memorandum, 1935. University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, University Libraries
referencedIn Cravens, John Park, 1899-1971. John Park Cravens collection, 1882-1962. Arkansas History Commission, Department of Archives and History
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Papers, 1950-1959. Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives
referencedIn Buell, Raymond Leslie, 1896-1946. Raymond Leslie Buell papers, 1915-1981 (bulk 1920-1946). Library of Congress
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Lawrence Brooks Hays Papers, 1916-1982. Wake Forest University - ZSR Library, Z. Smith Reynolds Library
referencedIn Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966. William Ernest Hocking Papers, 1860-1979 Houghton Library
referencedIn Dehoney, William Wayne, 1918-2007. Collection, 1933-2005. Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Papers [microform], 1950-1959. Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives
referencedIn Thomas J. Dodd Papers, undated, 1919-1971. Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries
creatorOf Southern Baptist Convention. Executive Committee. Administrative and program planning files, 1917-1989. Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives
referencedIn Dwight D. Eisenhower Library Oral History Collection. 1962 - 1998. Oral History Transcripts. 1962 - 1998. Oral History Interview with George C. Douthit
referencedIn John Park Cravens papers : correspondence amd papers, 1881-1967. University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, University Libraries
referencedIn Chester Bowles papers, 1924-1982 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Brooks Hays supplementary papers, 1894-1981. University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, University Libraries
referencedIn Warren I. Cikins Papers. 1948 - 2011. Brooks Hays Files
creatorOf Dwight D. Eisenhower Library Oral History Collection. 1962 - 1998. Oral History Transcripts. 1962 - 1998. Oral History Interviews with Brooks Hays
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Oral memoirs of Lawrence Brooks Hays, 1975-1977. Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives
referencedIn Robert Watts Hudgens Papers, 1925-1973 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Reminiscences of(Lawrence) Brooks Hays : oral history, 1970. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Dwight D. Eisenhower Library Oral History Collection. 1962 - 1998. Oral History Transcripts. 1962 - 1998. Oral History Interview with Vivion Brewer
referencedIn Warren I. Cikins Papers. 1948 - 2011. Congressional Employment Files
referencedIn Woods, Henry, 1918-2002. Henry Woods papers : correspondence, professional and personal papers, videotapes and photographs, ca. 1940s to 1990s. University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, University Libraries
creatorOf Hays, Brooks. Brooks Hays addresses and articles, 1961-1965. University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Sherman, 1899-1986. person
associatedWith Baptist World Alliance. corporateBody
associatedWith Bowles, Chester, 1901-1986. person
associatedWith Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925. person
correspondedWith Buell, Raymond Leslie, 1896-1946. person
associatedWith Central High School (Little Rock, Ark.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Cravens, John Park, 1899-1971. person
associatedWith Dehoney, William Wayne, 1918-2007. person
correspondedWith Dodd, Thomas J. (Thomas Joseph), 1907-1971 person
associatedWith Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969. person
associatedWith Faubus, Orval Eugene, 1910-1994. person
associatedWith Fulbright, J. William (James William), 1905- person
associatedWith Hays, Marion Prather. person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
associatedWith Hudgens, Robert Watts, 1896-1973 person
associatedWith Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973. person
associatedWith Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963. person
associatedWith Luter, John, person
associatedWith Mills, Wilbur D. (Wilbur Daigh), 1909-1992. person
associatedWith Nelson, Lowry, 1893- person
associatedWith Owen, Richard Newton, 1898- person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945. person
associatedWith Southern Baptist Convention corporateBody
associatedWith Southern Baptist Convention. Christian Life Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Southern Baptist Convention. Executive Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Southern Baptist Convention. Sunday School Board. Executive Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Southern Baptist Theological Seminary corporateBody
associatedWith Southern Tenant Farmers' Union. corporateBody
associatedWith Stagg, Frank, 1911-2001. person
associatedWith Tonks, Alfred Ronald, 1934- person
associatedWith Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972. person
associatedWith United States. Agricultural Adjustment Agency. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. House corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. House of Representatatives. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Oklahoma. Political Commercial Archive. corporateBody
associatedWith Wake Forest University. Ecumenical Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965. person
correspondedWith Woods, Henry, 1918-2002. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Arkansas
Little Rock (Ark.)
United States
Arkansas
United States
Arkansas--Little Rock
Arkansas
Arkansas--Little Rock
United States
United States
Arkansas
Arkansas
United States
United States
Arkansas--Little Rock
Little Rock (Ark.)
Subject
Farm tenancy
Church and state
School integration
Race relations--Religious aspects
Segregation--Religious aspects
Legislators--Interviews
Advertising, political
Television advertising
Agricultural laborers--Labor unions
Politicians--Manuscripts
Social service
Christianity and politics
African Americans--Civil rights
Cotton growing
Legislators--Biography
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1898-08-09

Death 1981-10-11

English

Information

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Ark ID: w65b1qg5

SNAC ID: 31276920