Movie poster created by the CIA as part of the cover story

Ridgewood 4th of July Parade Committee Remembers Hero Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor
October 16.2012
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ , Ken Taylor,the Canadian Ambassador made famous in the movie Argo was the grand marshal of the Ridgewood 4th of July Parade sometime during the 1980’s .

The movie Agro recounts what was know at the time as the “Canadian Caper” the name given to the joint covert rescue by the Government of Canada and the United States Central Intelligence Agency of six American diplomats ,Robert Anders, Cora Amburn-Lijek, Mark Lijek, Joseph Stafford, Kathleen Stafford and Lee Schatz ,who evaded capture during the seizure of the United States embassy in Tehran, later being know as the Iranian Hostage Crisis .

The operation “Canadian Caper” was initiated at great personal risk by then Canadian ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor, and Canadian immigration officer John Sheardown who provided sanctuary in their own private residences for the six endangered American diplomats.

The movie Argo is a 2012 American thriller currently in release directed by Ben Affleck based loosely on Tony Mendez’s account of this historical rescue . The film stars Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, and John Goodman. The film was co-produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov.

Bill Carbone, a resident since 1969, was chairman of the Fourth of July Parade committee from 1978 to 1988. Recounted that during his tenure, the Canadian ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor, was grand marshal of the parade one year after he saved Americans being held hostage in Iran during the 1979-1981 crisis. “We just thought it was the greatest thing in the world,” Carbone said.

Others like Gerald DeSimone of Lincoln Avenue remembered going to New York City along with Bill Carbone and asking Ambassador Taylor to be the grand marshal , which he graciously accepted .

The Ridgewood Fourth of July Celebration is organized by the Ridgewood Fourth of July Committee, a private all-volunteer group. The Committee is not part of the Village government and receives no funding from the Village. All aspects of the Celebration including fireworks, bands, insurance, police and fire personnel, are funded by voluntary contributions from businesses and individuals as well as the sale of fireworks tickets. Please consider making an individual donation to help “Support the Tradition.” It is never too early or too late.

New members are always welcome, to learn more about how you can be part of the 2013 celebration please visit www.ridgewood or contact the committee at