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Before Measles Meant Panic: Hedda Get Better Doll from 1962

Wayback machine

Here's a Best of.....

By Kim Stagliano

Let's take a trip back to Christmas, 1962. A little girl named Michele had a Christmas wish for Santa. Michele wanted to play Mommy. Mommies used to take care of sick children. It was part of their job description. Sniffles and sneezes, spotty rashes and wheezes. That was childhood, after all. Get sick, build an immune system, grow up.  Michele got a wonderful new doll from Santa that year. Her name was Hedda.

Bella bday 002

Hedda slept through the night like a dream.

Baby smiling 

Hedda smiled at her Mommy

Baby in between 

Hedda had one more face. In 1962, it was a face that every Mommy recognized and knew how to care for and love. So did doctors. In 2009, this face would instill fear, panic, disdain, loathing and angry cries that Michele was a very, very bad Mommy to Hedda.

Bella bday 004 

Hedda had the measles!  See the little hole in her mouth for the thermometer?

Yes, in 1962, measles were a common childhood illness. And little girls played with dollies that had the measles, and made them all better. So did doctors for children who got the measles. The full name of the doll was "Hedda Get Better."  Michele is my big sister. She found a Hedda doll on ebay this Fall and sent her to me. Perhaps I'll invite Hedda to Autism One, if she's feeling up to it.

How about your child? Is there a magic button you can twist so that he/she gets better? I wish there were. For each of us.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.



Hera: "On top of this, childhood malnutrition was a large factor in the early 1960's in the USA '"

CBS Documentary "Hunger in America" 1968



There were three to four MILLION cases of measles a year, but most never saw a doctor for it and they were not officially reported, but serological tests of army recruits in the early '60s showed that 99% of them had immunity to measles, before the vaccine. Everyone born before 1958 is presumed to have had natural measles.

Measles was a killer disease around 1900, but mortality, like that from pertussis, fell quickly and steadily, until it was a fairly mild disease in the vast majority of cases with a very low death rate by the time the vaccines for them were introduced. Measles depresses immune function for longer than most diseases, and it is the complications which can start in this time that can occasionally kill. It is important to keep measles patients quiet in bed until the fever is gone, and then quiet at home for a full three weeks after the day the rash appears, to prevent complications. Children who are not immunocompromised to begin with, who are well-nourished, who stay warm in bed and take no fever reducers, will not die of measles, but will rather reap the many benefits of natural measles, including the ability to protect future infants and protection from many diseases, including all cancers but breast cancer, in later life. A stronger cellular immune system, developmental strides, and permanent immunity.

Now factor in the deaths and permanent disability (primarily autism and bowel disease, but many other kinds occur) caused by the vaccine, and let parents make the choice of the vaccine or the diseases (measles, mumps, and rubella are all relatively mild in children, and all very beneficial for the development of the immune system). Better to teach parents the importance of giving vitamin A for measles and no fever reducers.


Everyone can tell by watching these old shows from the 1970s and 80s that measles (shudder) was a terrifying disease:


Dr Ianelli,

In the 1960's everyone is assumed to have had the measles. So you are saying only 432 deaths out of the whole population, and a population that apparently in general had very limited access to medical care.
From the article
Many people in the U.S. prior to 1965 had very limited access to medical care," said Ronald Andersen, an emeritus professor of health services and sociology at the UCLA School of Public Health who has studied this data since the 1960s and provided the data to us. "This situation improved considerably after the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid."

And the article goes on to describe the fact that only very limited health care was provided even if someone made it to a hospital.

"In the early 1960s, Aaron said, "health care was much less costly than it is today; and there was much less that doctors or hospitals could do for patients."

On top of this, childhood malnutrition was a large factor in the early 1960's in the USA

Sorry the quote is a bit long, but it is a reassessment in 1977 talking about the improvement over the last 10 years

A similar team of physicians returned to very poor areas of the United States in 1977 — after food stamps and other nutrition assistance programs were made available nationwide — and found marked reductions in malnutrition and related problems. The physicians’ report explained:

Our first and overwhelming impression is that there are far fewer grossly malnourished people in this country today than there were ten years ago. Malnutrition has become a subtler problem. In the Mississippi delta, in the coal fields of Appalachia and in coastal South Carolina — where visitors ten years ago could quickly see large numbers of stunted, apathetic children with swollen stomachs and the dull eyes and poorly healing wounds characteristic of malnutrition — such children are not to be seen in such numbers. Even in areas which did not command national attention ten years ago, many poor people now have food.

So amongst a population where many were not receiving medical care, and children suffered from malnutrition, the death rate amongst the whole population from measles under those conditions was still only 432 in a year.

Wow. I wonder if we changed the wording, and "catching the measles" was instead described as "a vaccine against cancer" whether you would consider it to be a safe vaccine on a population basis?

david m burd

To Vincent Iannelli, MD

Your arrogance and ignorance perfectly exemplify your "indoctrination" - and your utter disregard for actual history of childhood morbidity and mortality - sans vaccines.

May God help any families you have in your practice -- it's the only chance they have if listening to you.

Jeannette Bishop

"In the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age. It is estimated 3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year. Also each year an estimated 400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles."

Millions of cases estimated because most were not considered worth reporting? Those that were susceptible to complications from an infection like the measles...did the vaccine improve anything for them?

How many children suffer from encephalitis in the U.S. now? A million children now have autism, millions more have diagnoses that suggest some form of brain/developmental damage that may have involved immune system activation occurred at some point in their lives, or that may still involve chronic immune activation.

So do we really have a "good" vaccine? Any "good" vaccines?



I was around in 1962. I probably had measles a few years before. Not exactly sure because the infection wasn't all that serious or memorable for me or anyone I knew. You weren't born for a couple of decades yet, so let me inform you - the average person and the average person's doctor were not concerned about a childhood case of the measles. We only had the 6 o'clock and 11 o'clock news on a scant handful of TV channels back then and I don't remember any measles reporting. Measles wasn't newsworthy like it is now.

And you know what? When I got pregnant, no one was afraid that my babies were vulnerable to the measles, because they weren't - of course, because I had natural immunity that I passed on to them and I still do. Measles is not on my list of things to worry about - well, for myself - because I was fortunate to be born before the vaccine. I do worry about young people now being denied the benefit of having the infection between the ages of 5-9 when it is most mild. I worry about your generation who is likely not immune in adulthood. Not a good situation - an unnecessary vulnerability created by the vaccine. I also worry not only about all the pain, suffering, life long disability and death caused by the MMR, a 3 live virus vaccine that was licensed for use without being studied as a combination drug, but about the ineffectiveness and adverse health effects of boosters being sold to generations born after 1957. I worry about the harm done by people like you, who lie to the public and tell them that the vaccine is perfectly safe and necessary and that measles was a deadly disease in 1962. I worry about what happens to those 3 live viruses in the bodies of the 5% of patients who don't mount an immune response to the MMR (according to the CDC). It is not right that parents are not told about the abundant research showing live measles virus inhabiting the intestines of children who became chronically physically ill after the vaccine. And then, of course, we are seeing measles virus being successfully used to cleanse the body of deadly cancer cells and we don't know if depriving youth of the infection contributed to the simultaneous meteoric rise in cancer rates, do we? But we do know that mumps infection during childhood results in the development of antibodies that defend against ovarian cancer - antibodies that the vaccinated do not develop. We do know from mainstream scientific accepted literature that the incidence of ovarian cancer increased in women vaccinated in childhood, but not in women who had wild mumps. Cancer is the #1 killer today. Measles was never even close to being in the top 20. But people like you stick out your chest and lie through your teeth presenting yourself as some kind of savior, as though you are educating the public, when you are actually keeping the public in the dark and selling them a bill of goods.

Merry Christmas Vincent. May the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future pay you a visit and stay with you long enough to inject some wisdom and love into your foolish, lying, hard heart. May you leave the dark side, repent of your sins, bravely proclaim the truth and join the fight to save humanity from people like you in the New Year. Amen.
"Occasional “spontaneous” tumor regressions of Hodgkin’s disease and Burkitt’s lymphoma have been documented after measles infections.[7, 8, 62–64] Perhaps the most compelling was the case history of an 8-year old African boy who presented to a clinic in Uganda with a four month history of painless right orbital swelling. A biopsy specimen of the right retroorbital tumor was histologically diagnostic of Burkitt’s lymphoma but at the time of planned initiation of therapy, he was noted to have a generalized measles rash. On the same day, the right orbital tumor was noted to be regressing and because of the presumed measles infection, he was given no chemotherapy for the Burkitt’s lymphoma. During the course of the next two weeks, his rash disappeared and he seroconverted to measles. At the same time, the tumor regressed completely and remained in complete remission for at least four months after the measles infection in the absence of antineoplastic therapy. The mechanism underlying the rapid tumor regression that was observed in this remarkable case history was never elucidated but Burkitt’s lymphomas are known to express high levels of SLAM and are therefore susceptible to infection by wild-type measles viruses.[65, 66] The timing of the regression, coinciding with the period during which measles virus burden and measles-induced immunosuppression are at their peak, supports the contention that the tumor cells were directly destroyed by the virus."


And in 1962, before we had a good vaccine, there were 503,282 cases of measles in the United States and 432 measles deaths.

Nice dolly though.


Nice number too. And I'm sure they're oh so scary.... to anyone who believes they're real.

They don't scare me at all, because I believe they've been completely fabricated.

Any chance you can prove me wrong on that?

Gary Ogden

And 502,850 with lifetime immunity to measles and a more robust immune system as a bonus.
Plus: 0 cases of measles-vaccine-induced injury; 0 cases of measles vaccine-induced autism. 0 cases of measles-vaccine-induced death.
Have you the figures for measles-vaccine-induced injury or death today, or at any time since 1962, Dr. Iannelli? Of course you don't! They don't bother to surveil vaccine injury; it might alarm the public, and we can't have that, can we?

Angus Files

I just went on ebay after reading your article and just searched measles- as you do...?and its amazing the vintage measles stuff that can be found...what you find is stamps promoting measles, fluffy balls with dots, post cards with measles, we are just spoilt for choice..but to beat it all Kim if you still feel short in your measles collection a letter from Queen Victoria`s mother explaining how all her kids had caught measles...AND SURVIVED must be a fake ??nobody survives measles RIGHT!!!

Princess Victoria



That number is nonsense Vince. There is no useful data for diseases that are typically mild and transient because we have no idea how often the patient will bother seeing the doctor or if the doctor will bother testing for and notifying the condition. That is true now and it was true back then.

And doctors use vaccine status - as per the instructions of the CDC - to differentially diagnose patients rendering the supposed fall in measles meaningless. A self-fulfilling prophecy.

Doctors typically know nothing about statistics. All they know is how to rationalise away the multitude of vaccine inquiries they see all the time.

World's most dangerous profession.

For their customers.

Vincent Iannelli, MD

And in 1962, before we had a good vaccine, there were 503,282 cases of measles in the United States and 432 measles deaths.

Nice dolly though.

Gary Ogden

I can see spots on her face, too! Being a boy, I wanted a chemistry set, so I did not know of such things. Thanks for reminding us! An un-politically correct doll, brought by Santa himself and his little reindeer (actually caribou). Oh, how far we've gone down the road to perdition.

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