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Alcatraz Island (sometimes just called Alcatraz or The Rock) is a small island in San Francisco Bay in California. It was first a lighthouse, then a military fort, then a military prison, and finally a federal prison. In 1963, it became a museum.
Al Capone, the notorious gangster and mob boss, was one of the first prisoners to occupy the new Alcatraz federal prison in 1934. There are no confirmed escapes from the prison. A movie called "Escape from Alcatraz" was made about one of the attempted escapes. The prison island is about 1.5 miles away from land, but some prisoners were still able to make the ocean swim, only to be caught later.
The name Alcatraz comes from the original Spanish name of the island, Isla de los alcatraces (Island of the pelicans). It was given that name when a Spanish explorer, John Manuel de Ayala, noticed the great number of pelicans roosting on the island.
Alcatraz Island is one of many islands in the San Francisco Bay area.
- Christopher Klein. "10 Things You May Not Know About Alcatraz". https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-alcatraz. Retrieved 2019-09-10.