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"Hail to the Chief," with its preceding fanfare Ruffles and Flourishes, is traditionally played to announce the arrival of the president at official functions. The melody was based on an old Gaelic air, and adapted from Sir Walter Scott’s poem, The Lady of the Lake. "Hail to the Chief" is attributed to English composer James Sanderson. The song was already very popular when the Marine Band played it at the laying of the cornerstone for the first lock of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal on May 29, 1829, in the presence of President Andrew Jackson. This was the first documented performance of the song for a sitting president. Two first ladies are credited with using Hail to the Chief to announce the arrival of the president at an official event—Julia Tyler and Sarah Polk. In 1954, the Department of Defense created an official policy that made "Hail to the Chief" a tribute to the President of the United States.

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