I haven't been to Alcatraz in about 45 years. I think I went there for a field trip in fourth grade. Even though it sits there in the Bay, I always thought it was the super tourist thing to do. Anyway, I decided to go out there.
Alcatraz has an amazing history. It was developed in the mid-19 century as a lighthouse, military fort and a military prison before becoming a federal prison in 1934. Alcatraz was the first super max prison and it held the worst of the worst in the Federal Prison system. Names like Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly and Bumpy Johnson all spent time there.
The prison closed in 1963 and Native Americans occupied it for 19 months starting in November 1969. It became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1972:
|The Admin Building|
|The Warden's House|
For a prison, The Rock is rather small. It only had 336 cells in B and C Block (A Block was not used) and 42 cells in the segregation unit. You can feel and hear the ghosts on the inside of the prison:
|A regular cell|
|A cell in D Block or the Segregation|
And they don't sugar coat the famous Escape in 1962 by the Anglin Bothers and Frank Morris:
The dummies they used(above) and the how they got out of their cells (below):
After the prison closed Native Americans occupied the island for 19 months beginning in November 1969 to protest federal policies towards Native Americans:
The Rock is an interesting place to visit with much history and I am glad that I did it finally.