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The Top 20 Biggest Lies in History

By Becky Ferreira Jan 9, 2014

2 of 21

The Cherry Tree Anecdote

The legendary story of how George Washington chopped down a cherry tree as a boy is, in reality, a huge irony sandwich. The anecdote is supposed to attest to Washington's unwavering honesty, which would be great if the tale wasn't fabricated by his biographer, Parson Weems. The story still has some cache as a "honesty is the best policy" parable (paradoxically enough), as well as a reminder that hatchets make great gifts for children. Wait a second...

Tags: history, lies, slideshows, presidents, governments, false

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About the Author
Becky Ferreira

Becky Ferreira is a writer, performer, and raptor based in New York.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.