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Brooks Hays Papers Second Addendum

Identifier: MC 1164b

Scope and Content Note

The Brooks Hays Papers is a second addendum to the Brooks Hays Papers, consisting of documents and memorabilia chronicling Hays' life and career. Included are personal planners, writings and speeches by and about Hays, books written by Hays and his wife Marion, political pamphlets, materials related to the film Return to Little Rock, a scrapbook, financial and legal documents, correspondence, newspapers and newspaper clippings, political cartoons, magazines and magazine clippings, photographs and slides, award plaques, sound and video recordings, and graduation regalia.


  • Creation: 1895-2006


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

Lawrence Brooks Hays was born in Pope County, Arkansas, the only child of Adelbert Steele Hays and Sarah Tabitha Butler on August 9, 1898. He attended the University of Arkansas from 1915 until his graduation in 1919, with a brief absence during which he served in World War I. In 1922 he earned his L.L.B. degree from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and married Marion Prather of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Soon after, he began practicing law with his father in Russellville, Arkansas, and became involved in politics. He managed his father’s unsuccessful campaign in 1922 for Congress, and then managed H.W. Applegate’s successful campaign for Attorney General in 1924. He unsuccessfully ran for governor of Arkansas in 1928 and 1933, and afterwards accepted a position with the National Recovery Administration where he served for nine years. In 1943 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas’s Fifth Congressional District and served eight terms. In 1957 he felt compelled to mediate between Arkansas governor Orval Faubus and President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Little Rock Central High integration crisis. Because of his liberal stance on the issue of integration, Hays lost his reelection campaign in 1959, becoming one of only a few incumbents in United States political history to lose an election to a write-in candidate.

Hays was a devout Baptist, a lay preacher, and a Sunday School teacher at the Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. He considered his political work to be a form of Christian ministry, and insisted on being an honest politician, even at the expense on an election. He was chair of several committees for the Southern Baptist Convention despite his career as a “liberal” politician, and in 1957 through 1958 he held the office of president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Brooks remained influential as a public figure throughout his life. He served as assistant secretary of state for congressional affairs under President John F. Kennedy from 1961 to 1963, and was special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson until 1966. Brooks and Marion Hays had two children, Steele and Sarah. He died in Washington, D.C., on October 12, 1981.


16.85 Linear Feet (17 boxes and 1 oversized item)

Arrangement of the Papers

The addendum’s first section contains Brooks Hays biographical materials, including papers by his biographer C.E. Bryant. They are arranged alphabetically. The second section pertains to the extended Hays family. The third section consists of correspondence, including letters to Brooks Hays and other family members; also included are letters from various presidents of the United States. All correspondence is arranged chronologically. A section of general materials include financial and legal documents, materials on organizations and clubs, and miscellaneous writings. Newspaper clippings are arranged by topic and include articles about Hays and his son, Judge Steele Hays. Other printed materials consist of magazine articles and booklets and generally relate to politics and religion. Images are arranged by subject matter, and include several photographs of Brooks Hays with presidents of the United States. Audio and video materials include several reels with Brooks Hays speaking at the National Conference for Christians and Jews. The addendum also includes award plaques that Hays received from 1922 to 1980. Because of size, Box 14a is located in Box 14, which otherwise contains plaques. Oversized materials include some enlarged copies of newspapers pertaining to the Little Rock Central High crisis in 1957, as well as several enlarged photographs of Brooks Hays. The collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Brooks Hays Materials
  2. Hays Family Materials
  3. Correspondence
  4. General Materials
  5. Newspapers and Newspaper Clippings
  6. Printed Materials
  7. Images
  8. Audio Reels
  9. Video Reels
  10. Oversized Audio and Video Reels
  11. Plaques and Awards
  12. Audio and Video
  13. Apparel
  14. Oversized Materials

Acquisition Information

The Brooks Hays Papers Second Addendum was donated to Special Collections by Betty Brooks Hays Bell of Virginia on May 11, 2007.

Processing Information

Processed by Morgan Holladay; completed in June 2009.



Brooks Hays Papers Second Addendum
Morgan Holladay
June 2009
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444