Saturday, February 18, 2012

George Washington Lied About the Cherry Tree. Gasp.

American kids have been hearing the George Washington cherry tree story for the past 200 years:  The Father of Our Country cut down a cherry tree. Asked if he did it, he said, “I cannot tell a lie. I cut down the cherry tree with my trusty little hatchet.”

American parents love the George Washington story – that unlike every other kid ever born on the planet, George could not lie. 

Kids hate stories about perfect kids.

We are all so gullible.

The truth is Washington did lie about the tree, but he was not the one who cut it down. He wasn’t even home. He had gone skinny dipping with Martha. His best buddy little Johnny Adams, known around the neighborhood as Chopper, cut down the tree. He paid George to take the blame with a carved cherry wood walking stick.

When both men were in their twilight years, Washington wrote to Adams, “I kept that big stick you paid me with, you know. I used it to make some new teeth."