Aug 21, 2010

San Francisco Day 8: Alcatraz and Angel Island

Alcatraz Maximum Security Prison

A view of Alcatraz from the ferry. Its also called "The Rock". At some point it was the most feared Maximum Security Prison in the US. Its surrounded by shark infested waters, water is frigid cold, and was thought to be "inescapable". There was a movie made about the island featuring Clint Eastwood ("Escape from Alcatraz"). 

ESCAPES: "During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed no prisoners had ever successfully escaped. 36 prisoners were involved in 14 attempts, two men trying twice; 23 were caught, six were shot and killed during their escape, and three were lost at sea and never found.[23] The most violent occurred on May 2, 1946 when a failed escape attempt by six prisoners led to the so-called Battle of Alcatraz." source

Our tour guide describing how some prisoners escaped. Back then gloves were made of rubber. Once you inflated the glove, and stuffed many of them in your clothes/jacket, you had an instant flotation device. Really clever!

 Some famous inmates listed, and also some info about the famous prison break at Alcatraz:

What some of the individual prison cells would look like:

On audio tour, you can see San Francisco from here but what separates the two islands is shark infested waters:

Angel Island

From Wiki: Angel Island is an island in San Francisco Bay that offers expansive views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin County Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. The entire island is included within Angel Island State Park, and is administered by California State Parks. It has been used for a variety of purposes, including military forts and immigration centers. The Immigration Station on the northeast corner of the island processed approximately one million Asian immigrants and has been designated a National Historic Landmark

A beautiful view:

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