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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 state functions. Derived from an old Gaelic air, Hail to the Chief was used in James Sanderson's musical play of 1812, The Lady of the Lake. The song was already very popular when the Marine Band played it from a barge for the opening of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal on July 4,1828, in the presence of President John Quincy Adams. First Lady Sarah Polk made Hail to the Chief official in announcing the president's entrance to an event. The band honors the president with the song hundreds of times a year at ceremonial and diplomatic events.

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