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February2007
HOME You Are Here From Slavery to Freedom Creativity Blooms in Harlem Founding Fathers or First Weathermen? Hunting for Buried Treasure 'Who Were Lady Day and Mister? Singer Billie Holliday and Her Dog' Is it a Fact or a Myth?
Is it a Fact or a Myth?

Did young George Washington really chop down that cherry tree, and when asked about it reply, "I cannot tell a lie"?

"Farm Boys Eating Ice-cream Cones. Washington, Indiana," 1941 "John Hancock," photograph of portrait [between 1900 and 1912] by John Singleton Copley

Almost everyone knows this story is apocryphal at best. But do you know whether the following statements are fact or myth?

John Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Washington, D.C., has always been the U.S. capital.
The ice cream cone was invented on Coney Island.
July 4 became a holiday in 1776.
The American Revolution began in 1776.

Play the new "Fact or Myth" game in the America's Library Web site to test your historical knowledge. The game is in the "Jump Back in Time" section of the site. A new question will appear each time you visit this page. (If you don't see a "Fact or Myth" question when you go to this page, refresh the page until you do.)

America's Library is a Web site for kids and families. More than 4,000 pages of interesting facts about our nation's history are enriched with images, maps, manuscripts, films and sound recordings from the Library of Congress and its partners.


A. John Vachon, photographer. "Farm Boys Eating Ice-cream Cones. Washington, Indiana," 1941. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Reproduction No.: LC-USF33-016109-M3 DLC (b&w film nitrate neg.); LC-USZ62-129115 DLC (b&w film copy neg. from file print); Call No.: LC-USF33- 016109-M3

B. "John Hancock," photograph of portrait [between 1900 and 1912] by John Singleton Copley. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Reproduction No.: LC-D416-255 DLC (b&w glass neg.); Call No.: LC-D416-255 <P&P>