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As one of America's most notorious prisons, Alcatraz has been a significant part of California's history for over 155 years. The small, lonely rock, known in sea charts by its Spanish name "Isla de los Alcatraces," or "Island of Pelicans," lay essentially dormant until the 1850s, when the military converted the island into a fortress to protect the booming San Francisco region. Alcatraz served as a pivotal military position until the early 20th century and in 1934 was converted into a federal penitentiary to house some of America's most incorrigible prisoners. The penitentiary closed in 1963, and Alcatraz joined the National Park Service system in 1972. Since then, it has remained a popular attraction as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The Alcatraz Alumni Association and the Golden Gate National Archives are among the many public and private collections from which photographs have been gleaned to illustrate the history of the island in San Francisco Bay over the past century and a half. It is most famous for the federal prison that long operated there and held some notorious criminals, but before that was home to a military installation and is now a tourist site and wildlife preserve. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Number of Pages: 127
Publisher: Arcadia Pub
Author: Greg L. Wellman
Street Date: May 28, 2008
Item Number (DPCI): 248-24-7577
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