I had a guided tour of Alcatraz and our guide was very knowledgeable about the history of Alcatraz Penitentiary. He was a wonderful guide and he said the worst thing for prisoners on Alcatraz was to hear the nightlife and to hear people laughing and having a good time in San Francisco while they were stuck on the Rock.
I was impressed with the size of Alcatraz and its vast history over the years. Alcatraz has 104 year prison history. It started out as a military prison in 1859 and ended in 1963 when the last inmates left the Rock and Alcatraz to be transferred elsewhere. Remnants of each time frame can be seen today , the National Park Service has had a caretaker for the island since 1972. The water in San Francisco Bay is only 58 degrees making escape from the island very difficult as the body can go into hypothermia very quickly and shut down in the cold frigid waters.
Alcatraz is under preservation. The buildings are getting new roofs and being repainted so future generations can learn the history of Alcatraz. The jail cells are only 5 ft. wide , 9 ft. deep and 7 ft. high which are very small. Al Capone was a prisoner on the Rock along with George ” Machine Gun ” Kelly and more.
Alcatraz is one of the top places people have on their bucket list to see. Paris and the Eiffel tower are number one. People are very curious about Alcatraz and the various escape attempts that were made over the years to get off of the Rock. The movie escape from Alcatraz has also made seeing Alcatraz in person so tempting and interesting. The method of escape in the movie was the same attempt the actual prisoners made while stuck on the Rock. They removed the grate in their cell and put homemade heads in their beds and when the guards hit their beds the artificial heads rolled to the floor. Alcatraz had 1500 prisoners pass through it doors over the years.
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