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AMERICAN MOSAIC - July 18, 2003: Question About America's Volunteer Military / Hatfields and McCoys Sign Truce / Remembering Musician Herbie Mann - 2003-07-17



Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, a VOA Special English program about music and culture, plus your questions about American life.


This is Doug Johnson. This week --

We remember jazz musician Herbie Mann ...

And we answer a question about military service in America ...

But first, have you ever heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys? Well, keep listening!

Hatfield and McCoy Reunion


One of the best-known family disputes in American history has officially ended. Members of the Hatfield and McCoy families have signed a treaty to end more than one-hundred years of disagreement. Shep O’Neal explains.


The dispute between these two families began in the eighteen-sixties. At that time, Randolph McCoy was head of the McCoy family in the southern state of Kentucky. Anderson Hatfield lived with his family across the state border in West Virginia. Each was a farmer. Each had at least thirteen children.

History experts are not really sure how the dispute started. Some people say it began over tensions that developed during the American Civil War. Others believe bad feelings developed in eighteen-seventy-three when Randolph McCoy accused Floyd Hatfield of stealing a pig. Floyd Hatfield was later found innocent. But the fairness of the trial was questioned.

The dispute between the two families turned violent in eighteen-eighty-two. Three sons of Randolph McCoy shot and killed Anderson Hatfield’s younger brother after he insulted one of them. The McCoys were arrested. But this did not satisfy Anderson Hatfield. He kidnapped and killed them as punishment for killing his brother. The McCoy family reacted. At least twelve people were killed during the violence that followed.

Fighting between the Hatfields and McCoys ended in nineteen-hundred. Today, members of these two families say they hope any long-term effects of the dispute have ended as well. To celebrate this goodwill, Reo Hatfield proposed a treaty. He said that if the Hatfields and McCoys can settle their differences, other disputing people can as well.

So, more than sixty members of the two families signed the treaty on June fourteenth. They gathered in Pikeville, Kentucky, the hometown of the McCoy family. The Hatfields came from Matewan, West Virginia. The governors of Kentucky and West Virginia declared June fourteenth “Hatfield and McCoy Reconciliation Day.” The two families have gathered on this day for the past four years to honor their family members and to remember their history together.

American Military Forces


Our listener question this week comes from Vietnam. Dung Trung Nguyen writes: "Would you mind telling me if American citizens have been called up for military service these days? If I am not wrong, after the Vietnam War, universal military service in the States was abolished."

What ended after the Vietnam War was not universal military service but the draft. Since nineteen-seventy-three, the United States military has been all-volunteer. Each person has chosen to join.

Universal military service is a system that requires all able-bodied men, and sometimes women, to serve for a time. The United States has never done this. What the country has done during times of war or when it needed more troops is to hold drafts. A draft is a system of choosing people for required military service.

During the war in Iraq, there was no draft but some people were called to active service. These were members of the military reserve.

There are different ways to serve in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard or National Guard. The two most common ways are service in the regular forces or the reserves.

Service in the regular forces means the military is a full-time job for as long as a person has agreed to serve. People who choose the reserves return to their civilian life after they finish their basic training. They continue training and meet with a reserve force near their home. Reservists may be called to active duty when the regular forces need them.

Reserve soldiers took part in the fight for Baghdad. They also had other duties such as medical aid. These included medical professionals called to active duty by the Navy to serve on a hospital ship.

The United States government still has the right to call on the public to fill the needs of the military in times of emergency. For this reason, when American men reach eighteen, they must list their name and address with the government in case there is ever another draft.

Herbie Mann


Jazz musician Herbie Mann died earlier this month of prostate cancer. He was seventy-three years old. Herbie Mann was one of the first jazz musicians to mix Brazilian, African and American music. Phoebe Zimmermann has more.


Herbie Mann was born Herbert Solomon in Brooklyn, New York, in nineteen-thirty. He always wanted to play jazz. But he could not decide what instrument to use. He finally settled on the flute, an unusual choice for a jazz musician.

Herbie Mann helped make the jazz flute a popular instrument. His first hit record was released in nineteen-sixty-two. It was called “Comin’ Home Baby.”


At the same time, Herbie Mann became interested in Brazilian music. He went to Brazil and recorded with bossa nova musician Antonio Carlos Jobim. Jobim’s voice is on this recording of “One Note Samba.”


Herbie Mann started playing his jazz music around the world in the nineteen-sixties. He traveled to Europe, Japan, Africa and Latin America. He continued to perform and record until his death. His last performance was in New Orleans, Louisiana, in May. We leave you now with another of Herbie Mann’s popular jazz recordings, “Memphis Underground.”



This is Doug Johnson. Do you have a question about American life? Send it to mosaic at v-o-a news dot com. Or write to American Mosaic, VOA Special English, Washington, D.C., two-zero-two-three-seven, USA. If we use your question, you will receive a gift. So make sure to give your name and postal address.

Our program was written by Jill Moss, Nancy Steinbach and Paul Thompson, who was also our producer. And our studio engineer was Vosco Volaric.

I hope you enjoyed our program! Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC -- VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.