Descendants of the nation's most famous feuding families are gathering in Kentucky next week to formally end the historic fighting.
The Hatfields and McCoys are meeting in Pikeville, Kentucky, to sign an official truce and proclaim that they stand together against any common foe to the United States.
Reo Hatfield of Waynesboro, Virginia, proposed the truce. Hatfield says he wants to send a message to the world that when national security is at risk, Americans put their differences aside and unite.
The feud between the McCoys of Kentucky and the Hatfields of West Virginia is believed to have stemmed from a dispute over a pig. A court battle over timber rights escalated the tension in the 1870s.
By 1888, as many as a dozen lives were lost. For the past three years, descendants have put aside their differences for a lighthearted reunion.
At this year's reunion, slated for June 12 through the June 15, the families will sign the truce.
Bo McCoy of Waycross, Georgia, says descendants of both families feel a kinship because of their common history.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)