Bonus Features: “Stop the Slaughter of Innocents”

This post offers bonus material for a piece I wrote for TVO – you may want to check that out first

world 1919-11-12 anti-vax ad

Toronto World, November 12, 1919.

Toronto medical officer of health Dr. Charles Hastings understood his actions in implementing a mandatory vaccination program might not be popular, especially among those who objected on grounds of personal liberty. “Why all this interference with personal liberty and individual rights?” he asked in his November 1919 monthly report. “Because British justice, properly interpreted, means that when the liberty and rights of the individual are not in the interests of the welfare of the masses, the rights of the individual must yield.”

globe 1919-11-13 picture of kids waiting to be vaccinated_Page_1_Image_0001

The Globe, November 13, 1919.

More from The Globe on the City Hall clinic: “It was positively sustaining, that odour of disinfectants, and as one of the City Hall staff remarked, one whiff of it was almost enough to safeguard a whole family against the threatened scourge.”

tely 1919-11-14 vaccination cartoon_Page_1_Image_0001

Cartoon by George Shields, the Telegram, November 14, 1919.

Toronto should realize that Dr. Hastings is not a vaccinationist for the sake of vaccination. The question of compulsory vaccination will not arise if the citizens who are not anti-vaccinationists on principle give themselves, their families and their neighbours the benefit of the doubt and GET VACCINATED. – editorial, the Telegram, November 15, 1919

globe 1919-11-19 anti-vax rally at massey hall ad_Page_1_Image_0001

The Globe, November 19, 1919. Dr. Hastings did not show up.

tely 1919-11-20 anti-vaxxer meeting

The Telegram, November 20, 1919.

tely 1919-12-16 hastings and santa cartoon

Cartoon by George Shields, the Telegram, December 16, 1919.

star 1920-01-22 anti-vax alderman has smallpox

Toronto Star, January 22, 1920.

Ah, the irony. I admit it – I couldn’t stop laughing when I read this story. The Globe‘s headline was even more blunt: “Anti-vaccination Champion Ald. Ryding, Has Smallpox.” Ryding, who had represented the Junction on city council since 1912, survived and continued to serve as an alderman into the early 1930s.

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