University of Arkansas home page Special Collections
  bullet Library Home  Special Collections Home  Manuscripts Home

Maurice "Footsie" Britt Collection

Papers and photographs, 1920-1993

Manuscript Collection 1238


Maurice "Footsie" Britt was born in Carlisle, Arkansas on June 29, 1919 and raised in nearby Lonoke.  He attended the University of Arkansas, graduating in 1941 after enjoying a successful college athletic career in both basketball and football.  After one season of playing professional football with the Detroit Lions, Britt was called to active duty in the United States Army in December, 1941.  As a platoon commander in the Third Infantry Division, Britt took part in the African, Sicilian, and Italian campaigns.  He was seriously wounded on February 12, 1944, loosing his right arm and for his battlefield exploits Britt won numerous decorations including the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Following a peacetime career in manufacturing, Britt ran a successful campaign for lieutenant governor of Arkansas in 1966, an office he held until 1970.  Afterwards he accepted a position as District Director of the Small Business Administration, 1971-1985, and made an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1986.  Britt has remained active in a number of organizations, particularly veterans groups and their associated reunions.


The papers consist of scrapbooks, photograph albums, speeches, printed materials, photographs, film, audio and video cassettes, and awards collected by Britt over his sports, military, and political careers.  Included are albums assembled by Britt's mother, Virgie; photographs of Britt during World War II and his subsequent acceptance of the Medal of Honor at the University of Arkansas in 1944; speeches made by Britt during his political campaign for governor in 1986; plaques, awards, and other memorabilia from military, political, and service organizations; photographs of Britt performing the duties of lieutenant governor and director of the SBA.  The papers have been described in 6 series.

Photographs, scrapbooks, printed material and papers created or collected by Maurice "Footsie" Britt were donated by him to Special Collections on April 20, 1993.

Processed by Kim Allen Scott, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries,
Fayetteville, Arkansas, in June 1994.


Series 1.   Scrapbooks and photograph albums, 1920-1980 (Boxes 1-6)

Series 2.   Manuscript speeches and essays, 1931-1986 (Box 7)

Series 3.   Awards and certificates, 1934-1992 (Box 2, Box 8, folders 1-3; Box 9)

Series 4.   Letters and manuscripts from others, 1970-1980s (Box 8, folders 4-8)

Series 5.   Printed material, 1938-1992 (Box 8)

Series 6.   Photographs, Films, and Recordings, 1935-1992 (Boxes 10-12; Box 2)

Series 1.   Scrapbooks and photograph albums, 1920-1980 (Boxes 1-6)
Scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, letters, memorabilia, and photograph albums complied by Britt himself or his mother. Some scrapbooks originally consisting of newspaper clippings mounted in removable, plastic-covered, adhesive pasteboard have been dismantled and the clippings placed in appropriately labeled folders.  Photograph albums which have been extensive arrangement and description notations prepared by Britt or his mother have been retained intact in this series.  Loose photographs have been given sequential numbers and arranged in series six.  Photograph album and scrapbook titles in quotations were provided by Britt.

Box 1

 1. "Younger Years Preschool Maurice and Basil - Compiled by Mother Britt"
 2. "Covers Grammar, Junior High, and Senior Grades in Lonoke High School"
 3. "Years 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940 - Covering Mostly College Sports. Also University activities."
 4. "Years '40, 41 & 42: Early Army Days at Fort Ord, Fort Lewis, & Fort Benning"

Box 2

 1. Large scrapbook, ca 1941-1945

Box 3

 1. Scrapbook, mostly letters, notes, and telegrams received during years '44 and '45
 2. Scrapbook pages,  early 1940's - WWII

Box 4

 1. "Photographs '44, '45, '46 - Some military, Some Medal of Honor, Some Homecoming"
 2. Photograph album  1960s Lt. Governor activities

Box 5

 1. "1966-67 Mostly political Lt. Governor's Race"
 2. "Scrapbook Devoted Mostly to Campaign for Lt. Gov. of Arkansas and Subsequent Activities"

Box 6

 1. Spiral notebook, World War II clippings
 2. Lieutenant Governor clippings
 3. Lieutenant Governor clippings
 4. Clippings, 1970s-1980s
 5. Governor's race, 1986
 6. 1987-1990s
 7. "United States Presidential Delegation to the 40th Anniversary of the Liberation of Rome"

Series 2.   Manuscript speeches and essays, 1931-1986 (Box 7)

Speeches presented by Britt at a wide variety of functions, dedications, and campaign rallies, along with a file of speeches created specifically for his 1986 gubernatorial race and a manuscript "Wild West" story written by Britt at age 12.  General speeches have been placed in files 1-9 and arranged in alphabetical order by title.

Box 7

 1. A-B
 2. C-D
 3. E-G
 4. H-L
 5. M
 6. N-R
 7. S-V
 8. W
 9. no title
 10. 1986 campaign
 11. "Wild West tale written by Maurice Britt, age 12 years (never published) turned down by 'Wild West'"

Series 3.   Awards and certificates, 1934-1992 (Box 2, Box 8, folders 1-3; Box 9)

Awards, certificates, citations, and plaques presented to Britt during his military and political career from various governmental, civic, and patriotic organizations.  Oversize paper awards have been placed in a folder within box two; plaques and other three-dimensional objects are in box nine.

Box 8

Folder 1.

Sigma Chi Fraternity, April 1939, University of Arkansas

Phi Eta Sigma Fraternity, February 1938, UA

University of Arkansas, Department of Military Science and Tactics - promote Britt to Corporal,         October 3, 1938
Mrs. Bonnie's Fifth Grade Arkansas History Class

1982-83 Melbourne Elementary

Certificate of Achievement 3rd Infantry Division, July 3, 1992

San Carlos Marina, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, April 30, 1959

Maurice Britt, Omega Chapter of Sigma Chi, Life Loyal Sig, June 5, 1944

Public Dedication of Worthen Bank Building, January 31, 1970

Military Order of the Purple Heart, August 5, 1983

United States Army Recruiting Program September 1969

National Society of Scabbard and Blade April 19, 1940

Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Distinguished Service Medal, December 5, 1981 (two items)

Invitation, Inauguration of President Reagan, Jan. 20, 1985

Honorary commission as Captain, U.S. Army, Jan. 7, 1948

Distinguished Alumnus, University of Arkansas

Proclamation by City of West Memphis February 23, 1991

U.S. Small Business Administration, Certificate of Appreciation, March 15, 1993

Honorary Chairman of the Handicapped Awareness Camporee, October 8, 1983

National Aide-de-Camp, Veterans of Foreign Wars, November 29, 1992
 Folder 2.  Official military communiques, 1944-1945
 Folder 3.  Official military citation awards

Box 2

 Oversize folder: Junior High Diploma - May 24, 1934
      Southern Baptist College, Dec. 2, 1969
      Congressional Record resolution, October 18, 1990
      University of Arkansas - Cadet First Lieutenant - May 7, 1941
      University of Arkansas Bachelors of Arts Diploma (June 9, 1941)
      The Great Fouke Society June 26, 1981
      Lonoke High School Diploma, June 5, 1937

Box 9

Plaque -  National Collegiate Athletic Association January 12, 1971
Plaque - Arkansas Hall of Fame, January 21, 1971
Plaque -  National Football Foundation & Hall of Fame - Distinguished American Award
Plaque -  Chapter 431 of the Military Order of the purple Heart November 10, 1992
Plaque -  Hall of Fame, Republican Party of Arkansas, 1990
Plaque -  36th Anniversary of the Liberation of S. Martin August 13, 1979 (Italian text)
Medal of Honor shoulder patch
State of Arkansas Distinguished Service - Medal & Bar
Service medal - European, African, Middle Eastern Campaign
Medal of Good Citizenship, Sons of the American Revolution
Medal of Honor pin
Pin - Re-Elect Footsie Britt
Folder: Campaign bumper stickers and license plate

Series 4.   Letters and manuscripts from others, 1970-1980s
(Box 8, folders 4-8)
Letters, manuscript articles and unpublished works composed or created by friends and acquaintances of Britt.  Most materials deal with politics and military affairs.

Box 8

  4. Letters
  5.  A Rendezvous With Destiny: 30th Infantry (Battalion)
  6. The Rockefeller Years, 1967-1970
  7. The Lieutenant Governor's Office in Arkansas 1928 to 1980 by Joe Hilliard
  8. The Story of the Life Family of Raymond E. Hanson; The Remarkable Captivity of the Wife and Children of John Hanson"

Series 5.   Printed material, 1938-1992 (Box 8)
Primarily printed material pertaining to Britt, his military exploits, professional sports career, and his student sports activities.  The material has been placed in box eight immediately following folder number eight.

Box 8

 Newsweek (April 24, 1944)
 Time (April 24, 1944)
 Colliers (December 7, 1956)
 US News and World Report (February 25, 1991)
 Official Program - Detroit Lions v. Cleveland Rams (October 12, 1941)
 Official Program - Detroit Lions v. Philadelphia Eagles (November 16, 1941)
 Official Program - Detroit Lions v. Green Bay Packers (October 26, 1941)
 Official Program - Detroit Lions v. Chicago Bears (November 23, 1941)
 University of Arkansas v. Baylor University (October 8, 1938) - Official Program
 Official Program - Arkansas Razorbacks v. Oklahoma Aggies (September 24, 1938)
 Official Program - Arkansas v. Texas (October 19, 1940)
 Official Program - TCU v. Arkansas (October 1, 1938)
 Official Program - Texas Christian University v. Centenary (September 24, 1938)
 Official Program - Tulsa v. University of Arkansas (November 24, 1938)
 Official Program - Abilene Christian v. Arkansas (September 18, 1948)
 Official Program - Arkansas Gridiron - Univ. of Arkansas v. Univ. of Mississippi (November 16, 1938)
 Official Program - Old Miss. Gridiron News (UA v. Old Miss, October 26, 1940)
 Third Infantry Division, World War II Vol. One by G. William Mohr
 Pamphlet - Arkansas Hall of Fame 1959-1975
 Arkansas Democrat (September 2, 1990)
 Frontline   3rd Infantry Division July 3, 1992

Series 6.   Photographs, Films, and Recordings, 1935-1992
(Boxes 10-12; Box 2)
Loose photographs, videotapes, audiocassette recordings, and 16mm motion picture film pertaining to Britt's professional and personal life.  Still photographs pertain to Britt's student days, his military career, his activities as lieutenant governor, his work with the Small Business Administration, his involvement with veterans groups, and his family.  Videotapes of Britt's 1992 speech to the Little Rock Rotary Club on December 5, 1991 and his appearance at the 1992 Army Cadet Command Annual Review.  Oversize photographs have been removed and placed in an oversize folder within box two.

Box 10

  1. Early life, photos 1-14
  2. 1941-1943, photos 15-22
  3. Medal of Honor ceremony and related, photos 23-42
  4. 1962-1966, photos 43-46
  5. January-June 1967, photos 47-104
  6. July-August 1967, photos 105-126
  7. September-November 1967, photos 127-146
  8. 1967, no month, photos 147-152
  9. April-June 1968, photos 153-166
  10. August 1968, photos 167-170
  11. September-November 1968, photos 171-183
  12. 1968 (no month) photos 184-196
  13. 1969, photos 197-226
  14. 1970, photos 227-233
  15. 1981, photos 234-241
  16. 1982-1983, photos 242-255
  17. 1984-1985, photos 256-260
  18. 1986, photos 261-285
  19. 1987, photos 286-295
  20. 1989, photos 296-302
  21. 1991, photos 303-316
  22. 1992, photos 317-328
  23. 1990s (no year), photos 329-350

Box 11

  1. Britt and various celebrities, photos 351-382
  2. Inaugural [1967?], photos 383-398
  3. Political campaigning, photos 399-426
  4. Britt with "honey queens," photos 427-434
  5. Britt in legislature, photos 435-450
  6. Rowher monument dedication, photos 451-464
  7. Small Business Administration, photos 465-485
  8. European trips, photos 486-501
  9. Military reunions, photos 502-541
  10. VA Hospital visits, photos 542-569
  11. VA Hospital visits, photos 570-599
  12. Family snapshots, photos 600-627
  13. Miscellaneous, photos 628-649

Box 12

  1. Formal portraits, photos 650-681
  2. Military reunions, photos 682-694
  3. Winter Republican Governor's Conference, 1969, Hot Springs (photographs mounted into a professionally produced booklet and not individually numbered)

 Audio Cassette tape - 1992 Reunion Talks
 Audio Cassette tape - Medal of Honor ceremony 6-5-44
 Film Reel - Blytheville rotary speech, ca. 1968
 Film Reel - Medal of Honor ceremony, 1944
 Film Reel- Footsie Britt Story, campaign film, 1968
 Videocassette - 1992 Cadet Command Annual Review
 Videocassette - Little Rock Rotary Club, December 5, 1991
Box 2      Oversize picture folder

 Wedding, photos 695-697
 Medal of Honor ceremony, June 5, 1944, photos 698-704
 Water Color, Rural School - February 1986, C.E. Tagle
 Photoprint cartoon, Winthrop Rockefeller on his throne
 Cartoon, "The Other Shoe"
 Cartoon, "You'll have to take it back..."

Return to Special Collections Home Page
Return to University of Arkansas Libraries Home Page