Lawrence Brooks Hays (August 9, 1898–October 11, 1981) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from the State of Arkansas.
Brooks Hays was born in London, Pope County, Arkansas, on August 9, 1898. He attended public schools in Russellville, Arkansas. Hays served in the United States Army in 1918. After leaving the service he earned a degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1919. He attended law school at George Washington University, becoming a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, earning his law degree in 1922, after which he was admitted to the bar. Hays returned to Russellville and opened a private law practice.
Hays served as assistant attorney general of Arkansas from 1925 to 1927. He served as a Democratic National committeeman for Arkansas from 1932–1939. With the arrival of the New Deal, Hays was appointed as a labor compliance officer for the National Recovery Administration in Arkansas in 1934. He served as assistant to the administrator of resettlement in 1935 and held administrative and legal positions in the Farm Security Administration from 1936-1942.
Hays ran for the United States House of Representatives and was elected to the Seventy-eighth. Hays was reelected seven times and served from January 3, 1943–January 3, 1959.
In 1953, Hays sponsored House Resolution 60, to create within the Capitol building, “a place of retreat as an encouragement to prayer.” This followed a trend of religious legislation which had manifested the previous year in the establishment of the National Day of Prayer, and would continue in following years with the insertion of the words "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance (1954), and the addition of “In God We Trust” to the national currency (1955). 1953 also saw the inception of the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, later renamed the National Prayer Breakfast, an event sponsored by International Christian Leadership, also known as The Family (Christian political organization). Hays, whom the Washington Post’s Drew Pearson described in a June 20, 1954 column as "one of the foremost experts in psychological warfare against communism," used his evangelical connections to help build a Christian conservative consensus in favor of the aggressive internationalism The Family called "Militant Liberty," an approach favored by internationalist Republicans and conservative Democrats.
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... After leaving office, Hays was elected to serve as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention for its 1957-1958 term ... Hays served in the Kennedy administration as Assistant Secretary of State for congressional relations in 1961 and as Special Assistant to the President of the United ... Hays became professor of political science at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University and a visiting professor of government at the University of Massachusetts Amherst ...
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