|Here I am in my cell with my bedroll.|
The island was bought for $5,000 in the name of the US government and President Fillmore ordered that Alcatraz Island become a military reservation called Camp Alcatraz. It was the first garrison on the island in and had 200 soldiers and 11 cannons. It was supposed to protect San Francisco from people coming from the ocean. Then the Civil War started the island had 85 cannons. Pretty soon there were 105 cannons. It was also the San Francisco Arsenal storing firearms and keeping them from Confederate guys.
Because of Alcatraz sits out in the cold, strong, mean currents of the ocean, Civil War prisoners were sent there. A brick jailhouse was built so the prisoners weren’t in basements anymore. That’s when they made it into a long-term military prison. Then the Fed’s took it over for a regular prison. And for 29 years it held some of really bad guys like: Al Capone, the Birdman of Alcatraz, Machine Gun Kelly, and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis (he spend the most time there as a prisoner).
No prisoner escaped from Alcatraz but 36 prisoners tried. 2 guys tried twice, 23 were caught, 6 were shot and killed, 2 drowned and 5 are listed as missing/most likely drowned. (Did you see the movie with Clint Eastwood?) There was one escape attempt that they call the Battle of Alcatraz. 5 were killed. 12 were injured, and 2 surviving convicts were executed. That was in 1946.
The prison closed in 1963 because it cost too much to run. Indians took over the island in 1969 and stayed there for 2 years!
They declared Alcatraz a National Historic Landmark in 1986. You can go visit it and but it costs money to ride the ferry over. That’s how I got there.
Visit Alcatraz and tell me if you think you could escape!
|By WPPilot - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27725542|