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Mar 15, 2021 · Alcatraz reveals stories of American incarceration, justice, and our common humanity. This small island was once a fort, a military prison, and a maximum security federal penitentiary. In 1969, the Indians of All Tribes occupied Alcatraz for 19 months in the name of freedom and Native American civil rights.
Alcatraz Island is the site of the abandoned federal prison, the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools and a seabird colony (mostly western gulls, cormorants, and egrets).
Alcatraz Island, byname The Rock, rocky island in San Francisco Bay, California, U.S. The island occupies an area of 22 acres (9 hectares) and is located 1.5 miles (2 km) offshore.
Located on a lonely island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz—aka “The Rock”—had held captives since the Civil War. But it was in 1934, the highpoint of a major war on crime, that...
- Early Years as a Military Prison. In 1775, Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala (1745-97) mapped and named rugged Alcatraz Island, christening it La Isla de los Alcatraces, or Island of the Pelicans, due to its large population of sea birds.
- Doing Time as a Federal Prison: 1934-63. In 1933, the Army relinquished Alcatraz to the U.S. Justice Department, which wanted a federal prison that could house a criminal population too difficult or dangerous to be handled by other U.S. penitentiaries.
- Famous Inmates. Among those who did time at The Rock was the notorious Prohibition-era gangster Al “Scarface” Capone, who spent four-and-a-half years there during the 1930s.
- Escape Attempts from Alcatraz. Over the years, there were 14 known attempts to escape from Alcatraz, involving 36 inmates. The Federal Bureau of Prisons reports that of these would-be escapees, 23 were captured, six were shot and killed during their attempted getaways, two drowned and five went missing and were presumed drowned.
Feb 27, 2014 · Perched on a rocky outcrop in the middle of San Francisco Bay, from the 1930s to the 1960s the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was reserved for the "worst of the worst". A who's who of the criminal...