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Welcome to:

AlcatraZtheROCK.com

D E S T I N AT I O N :

 Everything  ALCATRAZ  ISLAND !

 

 

 

 

H I S T O R Y ,  P E O P L  E ,  M  Y S T E R I E S ,  T R A V E L   I N F O R M A T I O N   &  M U C H  M O R E !

Welcome to Alcatraz Island, a.k.a. 'the ROCK' ! This iconic rocky out-cropping - located at the

 

center of San Francisco Bay -  has an endless inventory of colorful stories to share, so discover here, on

 

our ever-expanding web-portal. the surprising history of the 'little island with the BIG reputation!' 

 

We hope you will use this site to help prepare for an in-person visit, or to just tour the island virtually.

 

 

Learn here, of the Alcatraz Island's geologic formation, its' earliest Native American visitors, the

 

significant transformation by the U.S. Army, then the transition from military fortress/prison to

 

America's first 'Super-Maximum Federal Penitentiary, and ultimately the creation here, in 1973 - of

 

one of the our county's most intriguing U.S. National Park-sites.

 

 

Hear of over a dozen daring and dangerous prison escape attempts - while meeting the real 'tough-

 

guys' who did 'hard-time'  here, and others who also lived on Alcatraz - by choice - prison guards and

 

their families, and a Jesuit priest who recalls his impressions from 'walking the Yard'  with the 'Cons' 

 

 

Explore with us, hidden and little-known Alcatraz historical treasures - including surprising Civil War

 

Era gardens, the historic placement here of our country's first west-coast Lighthouse, and  surprising  

 

seabird nesting colonies! Follow the LINKS below, or the 'Subjects'  listings at the top of the page. 

Scroll down for more content. We hope you enjoy your 'visit' and we'll SEE YOU on 'the ROCK'!

 

                                                               I N T R O D U C T I O N

 

Alcatraz Island , once home to America's most dangerous Federal Penitentiary, is now also a unique and enticing U.S. National Park site, at the center of San Francisco Bay, and offers   opportunities to explore multiple layers of intriguing and important American history. . .

 

For many people, interest in Alcatraz history begins with a natural curiosity for the history of America's most renown prison, U.S.P. - Alcatraz (1934-1963). Intense public interest was first fostered by an intense secrecy - created by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons - when it opened the new facility in August 1934, and has continued for the past eight decades.  

Numerous notorious criminals, from America's infamous 'Gangster Era' - late 1920's, early 1930's - including Al 'Scarface' Capone, Alvin 'Creepy' Karpis, and George 'Machine-Gun' Kelly, were transferred to 'the Rock' from other federal prisons - as America's 'most dangerous criminals' and 'high escape-risks'.  

 

With the arrival of each these Gangster Era 'celebrity'  prisoners, the secrecy regarding their treatment fanned the public interest- and Hollywood movie producers quickly responded with a succession of Alcatraz themed releases.  

 

The first of the major productions, would star two major leading-male actors of the time, Edgar G. Robinson and Jimmy Stewart - in 'The Last Gangster' (1937).

 

A succession of Hollywood films would follow - over many decades - including 'Birdman of Alcatraz' (1962) starring Burt Lancaster, the iconic 'Escape from Alcatraz' (1973)- detailing the 1962 'Greatest Escape', starring lead-actor Clint Eastwood, and then the blockbuster - 'The Rock' - featuring box-office stars Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage (1996). 

Since Alcatraz Island opened as a U.S. National Park site, in 1973, visitors numbering up to nearly 1.5 million - from all points around the globe - have traveled to this special historic island each year!

Visitors who share the Alcatraz experience, are enriched by the history revealed during their brief visit-as they discover significant Civil War military history, historic gardens, the site of the first light-house on the American west coast, and the surprising colonies of seasonal nesting seabirds. 

 

We hope you enjoy your 'virtual visit' to our site 'AlcatrazTheRock.com' - and hopefully are planning an actual visit sometime in the not-too-distant future!

 

There are numerous fascinating discoveries to share -from the Civil War/Fortress Era, through the infamous penitentiary period, to today's National Park site - so please - enjoy your 'visit' and return often,  as this is an ever-evolving site!

 

Check out our BLOG POSTS BELOW, navigate to other pages at the top of this home-page, or click on images in 'Virtual Tours' to connect to expanding content:  

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 'Welcome to AlcatraZtheRock.com . I'm Ian Craig, site publisher, National Park Service Certified Program Guide, Alcatraz Historian, and Media Producer.  I LOVE Alcatraz Island and hope you enjoy our site!

Due to the COVID pandemic,  Alcatraz Island is currently re-opened on a limited basis, with visitors now able to explore the Prison Building and Cell-blocks, the Prison Shops and extensive outdoor trails. Tickets: www.alcatrazcruises.com

 

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