In 1980, on this day ailing Winnipeg-born engineer Sir William Stephenson was awarded the Order of Canada.
Recognition for Codename IntrepidA senior member of British intelligence, he had been appointed director of British Security Co-ordination but the Federal Bureau of Investigation had arrested him for planting propaganda in American newspapers, radio stations & wire servers, harrassing prominent isolationists and plotting against corporations working against British interests.
The subsequent investigation determined that the upper reaches of Washington society and government had been infiltrated. Stephenson had been dispatched by British War Leader Winston Churchill with orders to "do all that was not being done and could not be done by overt means" to reverse the isolationalist policies of President Charles A. Lindbergh.
The White House had reneged on a 1939 pledge from Franklin D. Roosevelt to King George VI that "If London was bombed, the USA would come in". Churchill's response was to order the most controversial, covert action campaign in the annals of espionage. He sent the legendary Canadian spymaster to Washington where he outmanoeuvred the FBI and the Statement Department for months before his exposure by the prominent American businessman and political figure Joseph P. Kennedy.