Class of 1957 - 58







Gov. Marvin Griffin

Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin

Eleven days before integration was to take place in Little Rock, Governor Marvin Griffin of Georgia, spoke to a Little Rock group and said Arkansas should not go through with integration, just like Georgia had decided not to integrate.  Over 300 in attendance applauded his comments. 




Brooks Hays

  Dale Alford

Brooks Hays vs Dale Alford

In 1942 Brooks Hays (D) was elected to the U.S. Congress, winning the Fifth District seat. His first notable work was an inspection tour of Allied-held territory in Europe after the successful Normandy landings on D-Day in 1944.  In the U.S. Congress, Hays was a leading Democratic legislator for eight (8) terms.

As the civil rights movement emerged in the postwar period, Hays articulated the political ideology know as "Southern Moderation".  Hays help arrange a meeting of Governor Orval Faubus and President Dwight Eisenhower at Newport, Rhode Island.  The meeting ultimately failed, however, after Faubus refused to remove the Arkansas National Guard and allow the famous "Little Rock Nine" to matriculate at Little Rock Central High School.  Hays' efforts to reconcile state and federal officials proved detrimental to his career.

In his bid for reelection in 1958, Hays was defeated by the Little Rock ophthalmologist (Little Rock School Board Member) Dale Alford, a militant segregationist running as an independent, in an eight-day write-in campaign in the general election.  Alford used legally questionable stickers attached to ballots, as well as other irregularities, to achieve this major upset.


Voting was done by a method of stickers added to the ballot, which should have been protested by Brooks Hays (D), but was not protested.

Hays, however, was instrumental in breaking down racial and denominational barriers in Southern religious life.  He helped initiate steps toward desegregation of the Southern Baptist Church, and then later became the first layman President of the Southern Baptist Convention.