Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

The Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary or United States Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island (often just referred to as Alcatraz or The Rock) was a maximum high-security federal prison on Alcatraz Island, 1.25 miles (2.01 km) off the coast of San Francisco, California, which operated from August 11, 1934, until March 21, 1963.

Alcatraz was designed to hold prisoners who continuously caused trouble at other federal prisons. One of the world’s most notorious and best known prisons over the years, Alcatraz housed some 1,576 of America’s most ruthless criminals including Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the “Birdman of Alcatraz“), George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Bumpy Johnson, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Mickey Cohen, Arthur R. “Doc” Barker, Whitey Bulger, and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis (who served more time at Alcatraz than any other inmate). Wikipedia

Learn more about Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

Alcatraz to become a federal penitentiary in 1934 that houses the country’s most dangerous convictsAlcatraz to become a federal penitentiary in 1934 that houses the country’s most dangerous convicts Fri, Jul 27, 1934 – 7 · The Dayton Herald (Dayton, Ohio, United States of America) · Newspapers.comTear gas pipes are installed in Alcatraz Federal PenitentiaryTear gas pipes are installed in Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary Wed, Aug 22, 1934 – Page 9 · The Decatur Herald (Decatur, Macon, Illinois) · Newspapers.com"Alcatraz, American 'Devil's Island,' Baffles Public Enemies' Efforts to Escape" Sun, Oct 7, 1934 – 38 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States of America) · Newspapers.comFirst escape attempt out of Alcatraz may have been intended as suicideFirst escape attempt out of Alcatraz may have been intended as suicide Wed, Apr 29, 1936 – Page 4 · The San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California) · Newspapers.comTwo convicts attempt to escape from Alcatraz; Authorities unsure whether they drowned or survivedTwo convicts attempt to escape from Alcatraz; Authorities unsure whether they drowned or survived Mon, Dec 20, 1937 – 1 · Albany Democrat-Herald (Albany, Linn, Oregon, United States of America) · Newspapers.comImage showing escape route of convicts from Alcatraz in 1937Image showing escape route of convicts from Alcatraz in 1937 Mon, Dec 20, 1937 – 1 · Albany Democrat-Herald (Albany, Linn, Oregon, United States of America) · Newspapers.comFirsthand account of a released prisoner about life in AlcatrazFirsthand account of a released prisoner about life in Alcatraz Sun, Dec 26, 1937 – 41 · Hartford Courant (Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America) · Newspapers.comPicture of the guards of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, 1938Picture of the guards of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, 1938 Thu, May 12, 1938 – Page 12 · The Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, United States of America) · Newspapers.com"Should Alcatraz be ‘Humanized’?" Attorney General believes Alcatraz is too harsh Sun, Jul 30, 1939 – Page 41 · The Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Summit, Ohio, United States of America) · Newspapers.comA look into the 1946 “Battle of Alcatraz”: A look into the 1946 “Battle of Alcatraz”: "Guards rush gun gallery manned by revolting convicts" Fri, May 3, 1946 – 2 · The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California, United States of America) · Newspapers.comImages of Alcatraz Island and the cell block at which the “Battle of Alcatraz” occurredImages of Alcatraz Island and the cell block at which the “Battle of Alcatraz” occurred Sat, May 4, 1946 – 6 · The Montana Standard (Butte, Silver Bow, Montana, United States of America) · Newspapers.comD Cell Block, home to the toughest inmates, is known as its own AlcatrazD Cell Block, home to the toughest inmates, is known as its own Alcatraz Wed, Aug 20, 1947 – Page 3 · Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States of America) · Newspapers.comCongress discusses closing Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary due to high cost, 1949Congress discusses closing Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary due to high cost, 1949 Thu, May 19, 1949 – Page 16 · The Times (San Mateo, San Mateo, California) · Newspapers.comClaim that Alcatraz is beginning to fall apart and deteriorate, 1954Claim that Alcatraz is beginning to fall apart and deteriorate, 1954 Tue, Aug 10, 1954 – Page 15 · The Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, United States of America) · Newspapers.comAdvertisement for the book telling the story of the Birdman of AlcatrazAdvertisement for the book telling the story of the Birdman of Alcatraz Mon, Nov 14, 1955 – 18 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America) · Newspapers.comPhoto of three cell tiers in the main cell block in Alcatraz, 1956Photo of three cell tiers in the main cell block in Alcatraz, 1956 Sat, Mar 17, 1956 – Page 10 · The Greenville News (Greenville, Greenville, South Carolina, United States of America) · Newspapers.comAdditional privileges are added for prisoners of Alcatraz, but it is still maximum securityAdditional privileges are added for prisoners of Alcatraz, but it is still maximum security Sun, Mar 18, 1956 – 3 · Casper Star-Tribune (Casper, Natrona, Wyoming, United States of America) · Newspapers.comAnother failed escape attempt in 1956 confirms Alcatraz is still the escape-proof ‘Rock’Another failed escape attempt in 1956 confirms Alcatraz is still the escape-proof ‘Rock’ Mon, Jul 30, 1956 – Page 30 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America) · Newspapers.comIn 1962 three prisoners successfully escape Alcatraz Federal PenitentiaryIn 1962 three prisoners successfully escape Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary Tue, Jun 12, 1962 – Page 1 · The Ithaca Journal (Ithaca, Tompkins, New York, United States of America) · Newspapers.comAlcatraz Island may become a tourist location after the closure of the Federal PenitentiaryAlcatraz Island may become a tourist location after the closure of the Federal Penitentiary Mon, Mar 18, 1963 – 20 · Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, United States of America) · Newspapers.comPicture of inmates exiting Alcatraz Prison after its closure in 1963Picture of inmates exiting Alcatraz Prison after its closure in 1963 Fri, Mar 22, 1963 – 5 · Hartford Courant (Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
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