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The Hatfield–McCoy feud, involved two rural families in the West Virginia–Kentucky area during 1863–1891.The Hatfields were more affluent than the McCoys and were well-connected politically. Devil Anse Hatfield’s timbering operation was a source of wealth for his family.  The McCoys were more of a lower-middle-class family. Ole Ran’l McCoy owned a 300-acre farm.

The feud resulted, in part, from Civil War conflicts, romantic entanglements, family- oriented discord, property and election disputes; all of it being sprinkled with mountain pride. Before and even during the feud, the two families intermarried and sometimes  switched family loyalties.

Hatfields and McCoys in the modern era

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In 1979, the families united for a special week’s taping of the popular game show Family Feud.  They played for a cash prize and a pig – which was kept on stage during the games.  The McCoy family won the week-long series three games to two. While the Hatfield family won more money – $11,272 to the McCoys’ $8,459—the decision was made to augment the McCoy family’s winnings to $11,273.

On June 14, 2003 in Pikeville, Kentucky, the McCoy cousins partnered with Reo Hatfield of Waynesboro, Virginia, to declare an official truce between the families. He had said that he wanted to send a broader message to the worldthat when national security is at risk, Americans put their differences aside and stand united. The truce was touted as a proclamation of peace, saying “We ask by God’s grace and love that we be forever remembered as those that bound together the hearts of two families to form a family of freedom in America.” The feud symbolized violence and hostility, but by signing the proclamation, they hoped people would realize that’s not the final chapter”.

Can we apply this today and learn from their experience?

This years’ Presidential campaign resembles the aforementioned feud. It contains bigotry, discrimination, hatred, feelings of inferiority and superiority, and even blame-placing for the current conditions in the country. You can find examples of any and all of these topics in any Daily News…


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