Industrialist Armand Hammer celebrated his 90th birthday at a Gala Kennedy Center concert that ended with Hammer conducting the National Symphony Orchestra in John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever."
Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich handed over his baton Wednesday night moments after Hammer announced he was giving $250,000 to the orchestra. More than 3,000 well-wishers filled the Washington center's Concert Hall to celebrate the birthday of the philanthropist, art collector and chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corp.
During the concert, Hammer sat in the President's Box with his wife, Frances, and Soviet Ambassador Yuri Dubinin.
The audience included high-ranking government officials, members of Congress, diplomats and leaders of the business and arts communities, as well as Lady Bird Johnson, widow of former President Lyndon Baines Johnson.