Alcatraz

By: Zac Jerominski

Life in the Military

The island was first discovered and explored by Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala. He originally named the island, La isla de los Alcatraces, or in English the the island of the Pelicans. Later in 1850, president Millard Fillmore took the island and started using it for military use. During this time in the 1850s a military garrison was built on top of it and also was equipped with more than 100 cannons due to the large gold rush. Later Being called Fort Alcatraz, it had the West Coast first working lighthouse. During the civil war Alcatraz became a prison holding Confederate lackeys and people that committed treason. With such a great number of citizens the U.S. add living quarters for inmates. With the end of the civil war the military now focused on turning into a detention facility. In 1867 another jail brick house was built and in 1868, the island was officially recognized as a military prison. Alcatraz grew even bigger during the Spanish-American war.
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Time as a Fedral Prison

The U.S. Military gave Alcatraz to the U.S. Justice Department in 1933. This happened because the Justice Department wanted a prison to house the worst criminals in the country and what better place than Alcatraz. The Construction for to turn Alcatraz into a maximum security prison finished on July 1st 1934, and for every 3 prisoners there were 1 guard. In Alcatraz each prisoner had there own cells. Alcatraz was in working business for 29 years and in those 29 years there have been 14 different escape attempts by a total of 36 prisoners. None of these attempts have been successful 23 prisoners were caught, 6 were shot and killed, 2 drowned and 5 were missing presumed drowned. Alcatraz was finally closed on March 21, 1963 due to high maintenance costs and seawater saturation to the buildings. All the prisoners in Alcatraz were moved to prisons across america.

Famous Inmates:

There have been 14 escape attempts from Alcatraz but none of them have been sucessful

My Reaction

I though that it was amazing on how long Alcatraz has been around. It been here since about the Civil war and its been through so much. Its cool on how many famous people it has housed and that you can still visit it today. Alcatraz has stood the test of time and has really, in my personal opinion, been a cool part of Americas history. Oh, and I hear that the ghost stories are really cool too. I hope i'm able to visit their.

Works Cited

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  • "Alcatraz Island." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.
  • Mahaney, Erin. "History and Facts About Alcatraz Prison." About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.
  • "FAMOUS INMATES." Famous Alcatraz Inmates. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.
  • "Machine Gun Kelly." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.
  • "Al Capone." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.
  • "Alvin Karpis." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.
  • "History: Military Fortress." Alcatraz History. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.