According to a 1971 documentary on the history of Alcatraz, the island measures 1,675 feet (511 m) by 590 feet (180 m) and is 135 feet (41 m) at highest point during mean tide. The total area of the island is reported to be 22 acres (8.9 ha).https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcatraz_Island
According to a 1971 documentary on the history of Alcatraz, the island measures 1,675 feet (511 m) by 590 feet (180 m) and is 135 feet (41 m) at highest point during mean tide. The total area of the island is reported to be 22 acres (8.9 ha).
Alcatraz Island, also known as ‘The Rock,’ a rocky island in San Francisco Bay, off the coast of California, in the United States. From 1934 to 1963, a facility on the island served as a federal prison for some of the most dangerous civilian prisoners. Learn more about the history of Alcatraz Island here.
Feb 12, 2020 · Historic Christmas 1954 menu for the Alcatraz prisoners. Park Archives, GGNRA, NPS The Fascinating History of Alcatraz Island. Alcatraz has a many-layered history: Civil War fortress, military prison, federal prison, bird sanctuary, first lighthouse on the West Coast, and the birthplace of the American Indian Red Power movement: These are just a few of the fascinating stories of the Rock.
Alcatraz is a former federal prison located on an island in San Fransisco Bay. The prison once housed some of America’s most difficult and dangerous felons during its years of operation from ...
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Welcome to Alcatraz History. Alcatraz History was designed to help introduce you to the rich history of Alcatraz during the penitentiary years and many of the convicts who called “the Rock” home. From the 1934 until 1963, Alcatraz was America's premier maximum-security prison, the final stop for the nation's most incorrigible prisoners.
Sitting like a beacon in the middle of the San Francisco Bay of California is Alcatraz Island. Though most prominently known for the years it served as a maximum-security prison, the “Rock’s” history stretches far beyond those infamous days, and its legends and stories continue to find their way into American lore.
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- Alcatraz Prison, "The Rock"
- Indian Occupation
- More History
From 1934 to 1963, Alcatraz housed many famous prisoners—or people who became famous due to their ties with it. When the prison first opened, the US government asked prison officials from around the country to provide a list of the worst of the worst prisoners in their facilities. From there, they created a list of the first inmates that would be shipped here. Since it was deemed inescapable, the US government thought it was the perfect place to house the worst convicts in the system. All of the cells here were single occupancy. The infamous "Rock" was never at capacity; on average, there were around 250 detainees here at any given time. Here is a photo of one of the small cells that the residents lived in. The part I love about visiting Alcatraz is hearing all the stories the guards used to tell the inmates to get them to behave—like that there were sharks living in the bay that would eat them if they tried to swim away. FUN FACT: Sharks dolive in the bay. However, they are smaller...
While the US government was thinking about a new plan for the island, a group of Native American activists occupied the island three times. They first tried to take it over in 1964, but only stayed for a few hours. A small group came back in 1969. After eleven days on "The Rock," a full-scale takeover occurred, which lasted for 19 months. At first, press coverage supported the takeover. They thought it was a great way to raise awareness about Native American issues at the time. However, support dwindled as the occupation continued. The group was not able to continue to raise money to supply themselves with food and other necessities. Finally, the US government removed the protesters in 1971. The legacy of this time period is still evident on the island today. During their occupation, the Native American occupants burned down a number of prison buildings and defaced a number of others. After they were removed, the US government stepped in to tear down some of the buildings they destr...
Alcatraz then became, and is still part of, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This group maintains several of the large parks throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Presidio and the Golden Gate Bridge. Next to Alcatraz is another larger island called Angel Island, another very interesting historical landmark in the San Francisco Bay.
If you are looking to learn even more about the history of Alcatraz, there are a few great books on the market. My favorite is Letters from Alcatrazby Michael Esslinger. He's written a few other books on the topic, but this is one of my favorites. It includes personal letters from the inmates that illustrate first-hand what life was like on "The Rock." Another great book, by the same author, isAlcatraz A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years. This one has a broader range of information and does a great job of covering the high points of the history of the island.
The best way to learn more about Alcatraz is to visit. One of the most popular visiting options is the Alcatraz and San Francisco City combined tour. This six-hour tour includes the ferry ride to and from Alcatraz and the audio walking tour around the island. It also includes a narrated tour of San Francisco that hits all of the top city attractions, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, the Presidio, the Palace of Fine Arts, and more. Tickets for this tour—and for Alcatraz in general—sell out quickly during the peak travel season in San Francisco (April - October). Make sure you book your tickets at least six weeks in advance to secure your spot on this tour. Learn more about this tourand book your seat today! Want to learn more about what it's like to visit Alcatraz before booking? If so, then head to the Tours page to find out what to expect from a visit to this popular SF attraction.
Alcatraz Island’s History Most people know that Alcatraz was once a world-famous federal penitentiary, but the Island’s history before and after the penitentiary era is less well known. For example, few realize that it was also the site of the first American lighthouse on the West Coast and that the Island served as a huge harbor defense ...
May 26, 2020 · 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. We invite you to explore Alcatraz's complex history and natural beauty.
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- Al Capone played banjo in the inmate band. The notorious gangster and mob boss was among the first prisoners to occupy the new Alcatraz federal prison in August 1934.
- There were no confirmed prisoner escapes from Alcatraz. A total of 36 inmates put the supposedly “escape-proof” Alcatraz to the test. Of those convicts, 23 were captured, six were shot to death and two drowned.
- Alcatraz is named for sea birds. Before criminals became its denizens, the windswept island was home to large colonies of brown pelicans. When Spanish Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala became the first known European to sail through the Golden Gate in 1775, he christened the rocky outcrop “La Isla de los Alcatraces,” meaning “Island of the Pelicans.”
- In spite of his nickname, the “Birdman of Alcatraz” had no birds in the prison. While Robert Stroud was serving a manslaughter sentence for killing a bartender in a brawl, he fatally stabbed a guard at Leavenworth Prison in 1916.