"Alcatraz - The Rock" Top 5 Page for this destination Alcatraz Island by GinGinCoo
Alcatraz Island Travel Guide: 116 reviews and 191 photos
For thousands of years, the island was a barren sandstone rock inhabited by seabirds. It is believed that Native Americans came ashore to hunt for bird eggs or fish. In 1755, Spanish explorer Juan de Ayala charted the bay and named an island "La Isla de los Alcatraces" - The Island of the Pelicans.
The island was still uninhabited when California became part of the United States in 1848. In 1853 the Army began to build fortifications on the island. The fortifications on Alcatraz were 100 heavy cannon and a garrison of 300 soldiers. No enemy ever attacked, however, and the gun rooms were converted into jail cells.
Alcatraz became the Army's Pacific Branch Military Prison in 1907. Soldiers sentenced to hard labor chipped rock, built roadways and buildings, and transported soil. In 1933 the Army transferred Alcatraz to the newly formed Federal Bureau of Prisons. The prison was redesigned as a maximum-security facility.
The cost of transporting water, fuel, food and supplies to this isolated island made Alcatraz expensive to operate. The buildings were deteriorating rapidly in the sailt air, and repairs would have been unreasonably expensive. The Federal prison on Alcatraz closed March 21, 1963.
From 1969 to 1971 a group of Native Americans, political activists occupied the island. This occupation is remembered as a key moment in the creation of a national civil rights movement by indigenous peoples in the United States.
In 1972 Alcatraz Island was made part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Services.
- Pros:Lots of History, small park, good guides
- Cons:Hard to get in, make a reservation a day or 2 in advance
- In a nutshell:When in the bay Area, this National Park is a must See!
Alcatraz was a prison almost from the very beginning. In 1859, 11 soldiers scheduled for confinement in the sally port... more travel advice
The "Broadway" is the main corridor of the Alcatraz cellblock. Before it assumed its role as a maximum-security lock-up,... more travel advice
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