Legend has it that young George Washington gained a reputation for honesty because he couldn't fib about chopping down his father's cherry tree. We can't vouch for that, but we can say that this easy, no-bake treat, which combines the flavors of chocolate, cherries, and cheesecake, is the perfect way to mark National Cherry Month--and that's no lie.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the butter or margarine, mixing well.
Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan (a great job for kids).
Place the pan in the refrigerator to chill while you make the cheesecake filling.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, lemon peel, vanilla extract, and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Fold in the whipped topping, then spread the mixture onto the chilled crust.
Spread the cherry pie filling over the cheese mixture. Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serves 9.