Did George Washington really cut down a cherry tree and then admit to his father that he couldn't tell a lie? He may have cut down many trees in his lifetime, but that tale was actually written by Parson Mason Weems. He included it in a biography of Washington with several other anecdotes to make it more interesting to portray our first president's heroic feats. The story then became part of General Washington's legacy.
What about Thomas Jefferson? Did he father one of Sally Heming's children? Even though DNA testing was done several years ago, and the results reported in the news media at first confirmed this, it was later recanted. Of course, the retraction was not as publicized due to the embarrassment of the those doing the study. In fact, Jefferson's DNA was not even used in the test. Kind of hard to prove something that way, isn't it?
These are just two examples of some in our society who try to change history and pass down stories and traditions as fact.
In September of this year, Mount Vernon (George Washington's home in Virginia) will celebrate the opening of his Presidential Library. This will contain many of his documents and books collected while he was serving as the leader of our country. You can learn more about him on the website www.mountvernon.org.
Another helpful site for the truth about our history on any subject is www.wallbuilders.com. David Barton has collected thousands of original documents and his book, The Jefferson Lies, puts to rest many of the myths about Thomas Jefferson. Believing falsehoods about our roots is a curve in the road we need to navigate by dispelling myths and lies and standing for the truth.
Happy Birthday America and may God continue to bless our country.
Have you found some myths about our history you would like to share?