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Related to Alcatraz: Alcatraz Escape


(ăl`kətrăz') [Sp. Álcatraces=pelicans], rocky island in San Francisco Bay, W Calif, about one mile (1.61 km) north of San Francisco. Alcatraz was first sighted by the Spanish in 1772 (and possibly three years earlier). Its name derives from the presence of a pelican colony, but Spanish and Mexican maps referred to Yerba Buena IslandYerba Buena Island,
300 acres (121 hectares), W Calif., in San Francisco Bay. It is the midpoint of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, which crosses the island through a tunnel. There are coast guard facilities on the island.
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 as Alcatraz until 1826, when the two islands clearly acquired their present names.

Alcatraz came under U.S. control in 1850 and became the site of the first U.S. fort on the West Coast. It was used as a U.S. military prison from 1859 until 1933, when it was transferred to the control of the Dept. of Justice. A year later it became a federal prison housing the most dangerous criminals; it was closed in 1963. Nicknamed "The Rock," it was a symbol of the impregnable fortress prison with maximum security and strict discipline.

From 1969 to 1971 a group of Native American activists occupied the island in the unsuccessful hope of establishing a center there, but the occupation contributed to the growth of Native American activism and was an impetus to the adoption of federal reforms. Alcatraz became part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1972, and by the mid-1990s it was attracting almost a million visitors a year. In 2014–15 Alcatraz was the site of a multimedia exhibition by Chinese dissident artist Ai WeiweiAi Weiwei
, 1957–, Chinese artist, architect, filmmaker, and political activist. He is the son of poet Ai Ch'ing, who was internally exiled (1958–76) to work camps with his family.
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 that focused on human rights and prisoners od conscience.


See study by E. N. Thompson (1979); D. Ward, Alcatraz: The Gangster Years (2009).


an island in W California, in San Francisco Bay: a federal prison until 1963
References in periodicals archive ?
To this day, Frank Morris, Clarence Anglin and John Anglin remain the only people who have escaped Alcatraz and never been found - a disappearance that is one of the country's most notorious unsolved mysteries.
I escape from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris.
But as first-time visitors, there were two things that we needed to tick off our list: a visit to Alcatraz Island and a cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge.
A cell Alcatraz In other words, it housed the cream of the criminal crop, including Al Capone and Robert "The Bird Man" Stroud, during its surprisingly brief 29-year career as a federal prison.
The Anglins' escape was made famous by the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz starring Clint Eastwood.
BY KIM CARR IT seems there's no escaping Hugh Laurie at the moment as the Night Manager star does a recce of Alcatraz to prepare for his next TV role.
Her absorbing new novel, The Edge of Lost, opens on Alcatraz Island in 1937, where, on a foggy night, the warden's 10-year-old daughter has gone missing.
He's built the bow and stern of the doomed Titanic, its sister ship The Britannic, San Francisco jail Alcatraz, Star Wars lightsabers, the Death Star, the Earth and Moon.
Men from the Hopi tribe were among the first prisoners of conscience held on Alcatraz.
On the other side of the world, Bahrain Endurance 13 Team members Ben Hoffman and Josh Amberger are in San Francisco for the legendary Escape from Alcatraz race.
What she saw was an art sculpture, titled "Blossom," that was on display in the main hospital ward on Alcatraz island as part of the "@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz" art exhibition.