(CNN) - "I cannot tell a lie."
That's the signature line from a classic American story. When the nation's first president was asked as a boy if he had chopped down his father's cherry tree, he didn't say "I can neither confirm nor deny those reports," or "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."
(CNN) – President Barack Obama was sharing a pulpit one day with a conservative Christian leader when a revealing exchange took place.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Christian who has taken public stands against abortion and same-sex marriage, had joined Obama for an AIDS summit. They were speaking before a conservative megachurch filled with white evangelicals.
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(CNN) - He called himself a "life-long Quaker and a church-going Christian," and at first there was no reason to doubt him.
He played piano in the church, taught Sunday school, and praised Jesus at revivals. His mother thought he was going to be a missionary. His friends said he would be a preacher.
(CNN) - After the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. first gained wide public recognition in the mid-1950s, he made a special request to evangelist Billy Graham.
King was poised to join Graham on one of his barnstorming crusades, but he would do so only on one condition. He asked Graham to publicly speak out against segregation, a request Graham declined, says San Diego State University historian Edward Blum.
(CNN) - As President Ronald Reagan used to say, "There you go again..."
When White House press secretary Jay Carney was giving a press conference Wednesday touting President Obama's jobs bill, he invoked a popular saying that he said comes from the Bible.
Theories about illegitimate presidents resurfaced again in the early 1960s with John F. Kennedy, the first Irish-Catholic president. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
(CNN) – One American president's legitimacy was questioned because he was accused of wearing women's underwear.
Another's qualifications were questioned because he got drunk at an inaugural ball.
A third president didn't belong in office because critics said his rich daddy stole the election.
A recent CNN poll revealed that one out of four Americans doubt that President Obama is a citizen. Many are "birthers" who believe he is an illegitimate president because he wasn't born in this country.
But historians say Americans have long accused their presidents of being illegitimate officeholders for all sorts of dark, and bizarre, reasons.
(CNN) – James Gordon Meek was standing over the gravestone of a friend killed in Iraq when he noticed a familiar figure walking near him.
President Obama was walking through what's called "the saddest acre in America," Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The section is the burial ground for U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama hugged graveside visitors, shook hands and listened to mourners while a "bone-chilling drizzle" fell, Meek says. As he watched Obama, Meek says he saw his commander in chief take on a new role: the consoler in chief.
"He absolutely seemed sincere," Meek says about Obama and his Veterans Day visit to Arlington. "What I sensed is that this was a man who is carrying the full weight of command. He gets it."
Obama must now convince the rest of America that he gets this sacrifice. As Obama announces 30,000 more troops for Afghanistan, he also is preparing to fight another battle on the home front, some say.