Did a young George Washington really chop down a cherry tree and then admit to his father, "I cannot tell a lie... I did cut it with my hatchet"?

Mason Locke Weems, a minister who wrote the first biography of the President, Life of George Washington: with Curious Anecdotes, Equally Honourable to Himself, and Examplary to His Young Countrymen probably made up the story because so little was known of our first President’s childhood. Anecdotes were needed to illustrate the origins of Washington’s heroic qualities. Whether the story was true or false, Weem’s cherry tree parable remains part of American mythology, just in time for President’s Day, February 20.