Alcatraz closed - March 21, 1963
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President Millard Fillmore signed an order that the island be set aside for military use in eighteen fifty and soon after a fortress was built on the island. During the civil war confederate sympathizers. Privateers people accused of treason were imprisoned in fort Alcatraz, the prison also held native Americans who had resisted the government and later conscientious objectors in nineteen oh nine inmates built a new sale house hospital this hall and other buildings on the island creating a new prison complex that was completed in nineteen twelve Alcatraz island with its strong cold. Currents was the perfect place for a prison because nobody could attempt escape and succeed or make it out alive. So in nineteen thirty three the army handed Alcatraz over to the US Justice department which needed somewhere to put criminals deemed, especially dangerous. San Francisco citizens weren't thrilled about having a federal prison. So close to the city though. But the Justice department insured people that I learned was secure. And after construction to increase the security of the facility Alcatraz open into lie. Nineteen thirty four. There were usually about two hundred fifty prisoners in contrast each prisoner had a separate sell about nine by five feet and seven feet high. And there was about one guard every three prisoners James a Johnston. The first warden at the prison who was there until nineteen forty eight with strict and ruthless. Radio's and newspapers were off limits. And most of the time there was silence. In the early years when prisoners could only talk with each other during meals recreational time, they would even dump the water out of their toilets to be able to speak to each other through the piping. Executions were not performed at Alcatraz, but a little over a couple of dozen people did die. Some were murdered some committed suicide in some died from illnesses. Anytime a few hundred civilians lived on the island. Families of the guards that lived on the island had a convenience store so to shop in bowling alley. But a boat did run to the mainland several times a day prisoners Alcatraz where mostly inmates from other institutions who were violent are prone to escape ING and needed to be transferred to a maximum security prison. But when you think of Alcatraz, you probably think of the well known criminals who did time in the prison gangster, Al Capone with locked up in contrast from nineteen thirty four to nineteen thirty nine after he continued to run his criminal operations while incarcerated in Atlanta. Prohibition era, gangster, George machine gun Kelly spent seventeen years in contrast. Crime boss, James Whitey Bolger was an albatross for three years and plenty of people also attempted to escape from the prison in some got farther than others. In nineteen Forty-five. John Kyle's worked at the loading dock, and he stolen army uniform and walked into an army light that he thought was headed for San Francisco, but is destination was angel island. And he was caught when he got there. None of the fourteen attempts were successful though. Five people are considered missing in drowned the rock as Alcatraz was known closed on Thursday, March twenty first nineteen sixty three Alcatraz closed mainly because it was so expensive to operate and the facilities were deteriorating to the point where it would be unfaithful for people in it. It would take a four million dollars in five years to repair. So prisoners were sent to a new prison built in Marion Illinois. Frank weatherman was the last prisoner to board a boat to leave Alcatraz a group of native Americans occupied the island in the late nineteen sixties and. Early seventies saying it was their rightful land until authorities forced them off Alcatraz is now a tourist destination. I'm Jeff coat in. Hopefully, you know, a little more about history today than you did yesterday. And if you wanna learn more about Alcatraz, I would highly recommend the movie starring Nicolas Cage called the rock. I'm just kidding. That doesn't have anything to do with Alcatraz history. But you can still leave us. A message at TD h c podcast on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If there are any upcoming days in history that you really like me to cover on the show. Give us a shout on social media. Thanks for showing up. We'll meet here again tomorrow. Jerry Lee Lewis. Sid vicious incurred. Kobe also AB wine-house Johnny cash and more disgraced rock and roll. True crime podcast stories about musicians getting away with murder behaving very badly. Available now posted by me. Jake Brennan, you can listen to disgrace them on the iheartradio app. Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.