When was Alcatraz built?
Various elements of the site were built in different eras since the mid-19th century. Alcatraz has served as a Civil War fortress, a military prison, a federal prison, the first lighthouse on the West Coast, and more. The first structures on the island, known collectively as Fort Alcatraz, were completed in about 1858. The main prison cell block that stands today was built in 1912.
Who were the most notorious criminals imprisoned in Alcatraz?
In addition to US military personnel, war prisoners, and Native Americans, Alcatraz held notorious American criminals such as Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Robert Franklin Stroud (the “Birdman of Alcatraz”), and Bumpy Johnson.
How is Alcatraz connected to the American civil rights movement?
Groups of American Indians from various tribes occupied Alcatraz during the American civil rights movement to protest the plight of their people—first in 1964 and again in 1969. The latter protest lasted nearly two years.
Did anyone escape from Alcatraz?
According to historical records, 36 prisoners attempted to escape from Alcatraz, but no evidence suggests anyone ever succeeded. Of the 36 who made the attempt, most were caught or killed during their escape. Five were never found but are presumed drowned.