|Lawrence Brooks Hays|
|Former President of the Southern|
|Predecessor||C. C. Warren|
|Former U.S. Representative from Arkansas's 5th Congressional District|
From: January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1959
|Predecessor||David D. Terry|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Service Years|| 1918|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
- Not to be confused with Wayne L. Hays, a Democrat U.S. representative from Ohio.
Lawrence Brooks Hays (August 9, 1898 – October 11, 1981), often referred to as L. Brooks Hays or simply Brooks Hays, was a Democrat from Arkansas who represented the state's 5th congressional district from 1943 to 1959. In the late 1950s, he was also the president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Hays was born in London, Arkansas to Adlbert Steele Hays and the former Sarah T. Butler. After completing public schools in Russellville, he attended the University of Arkansas and George Washington University. Admitted to the bar in 1922, Hays practiced law until he entered a long political career.
In 1934, following an unsuccessful bid for Congress amidst the Great Depression, Hays became employed under the National Recovery Administration (NRA), which was established under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
U.S. House of Representatives
Hays was a member of the Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations during the 82nd Congress, also known as the Cox Committee. The committee investigated major foundations for subversion and conducted hearings, although the scope of the probes were shallow and the final report whitewashed legitimate reasons to doubt the supposed patriotism of the organizations.
His membership on the committee is sometimes confused with that of Wayne Hays, who was not a member of the Cox Committee and instead was only part of the subsequent Reece Committee during the 83rd Congress. Some sources erroneously attribute the "Hays" on the Cox Committee to Wayne Hays even though the latter's name was never listed in the committee's hearings and final report.
Civil rights, 1958 defeat
In 1949, Hays, an opponent of the Ku Klux Klan, introduced the "Arkansas Plan" which advocated for providing blacks in the South certain civil rights and voting rights guarantees, though did not address segregation. Indeed, Hays was a signatory to the 1956 Southern Manifesto in opposition to the United States Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, which he denounced.
During the Little Rock crisis, Hays did not take either the side of Dwight Eisenhower nor Governor Orval Faubus, instead seeking a reconciliation between the two. In 1958, he was defeated for re-election by the more staunchly segregationist Dale Alford, a Little Rock opthalmologist who utilized Democrat election fraud tactics to "win" the race.
Following his ousting, Hays was appointed by President Eisenhower to the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority. During the presidency of John F. Kennedy, he was made assistant secretary on Congressional Relations.
- Day, John Kyle. Lawrence Brooks Hays (1898–1981). Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- Hunter, Marjorie (October 13, 1981). EX-REP. BROOKS HAYS, AIDE TO PRESIDENT, 83, DIES. The New York Times. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- Hays Brooks, Assistant Administrator, Farm Security Administration intermediary roll film. Library of Congress. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
- Hays, L. Brooks (Lawrence Brooks), 1898-1981. Discover LBJ. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- AR District 5 Race - Nov 03, 1942. Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- Candidate - Brooks Hays. Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- HEARINGS BEFORE THE SELECT COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE TAX-EXEMPT FOUNDATIONS AND COMPARABLE ORGANIZATIONS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES EIGHTY-SECOND CONGRESS SECOND SESSION ON H. Res. 561. American Deception. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- FascinatingPolitics (December 22, 2019). The Reece Committee on Foundations: Conspiratorial Nonsense or an Expose of a Threat to the Nation?. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- HEARINGS BEFORE THE SELECT COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE TAX-EXEMPT FOUNDATIONS AND COMPARABLE ORGANIZATIONS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES EIGHTY-SECOND CONGRESS SECOND SESSION ON H. Res. 561. American Deception. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
- January 1, 1953. Final Report Of The Select Committee To Investigate Foundations And Other Organizations (Pursuant to H. Res. 561, 82d Cong.), p. II. Retrieved October 6, 2021. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
- GPO-CRECB-1956-pt4-3.pdf. Congressional Record. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- AR District 5 Race - Nov 04, 1958. Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- Brooks Hays Digital Collection Opened. University of Arkansas. Retrieved September 22, 2021.