Alcatraz


A prison is rarely as well-known as its inmates but the history of Alcatraz is one for the books. Jutting out of the San Francisco bay is the rocky Alcatraz Island. As early as the 1840s, “The Rock” served as a military prison before becoming a maximum-security prison. Throughout history, Alcatraz’s reputation for being inescapable remained intact. Though some did try, the 36 attempts by inmates to escape the prison all failed. Some of the country’s most famous gangsters called Alcatraz home, including George “Machine-Gun” Kelly, Alvin Karpis, and Al Capone, who is said to have played the banjo for his fellow inmates. The prison officially closed its doors in 1963 as it was too expensive to maintain. Once inhabited by America’s most wanted and the guards’ families, the island is not unoccupied but still operates daily for tours.

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