Alcatraz, is one of the most infamous prisons in the history of the USA. Its name alone, provokes images of small cells, prisoners in striped uniforms and horrific conditions. It is said that the percentage of prisoners that went crazy while being held on Alcatraz was higher than in any other prison in the States. While it was operating Alcatraz became the home of some of the most infamous criminals in the US. Today, Alcatraz is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and has over 1.4 million visitors every year.
Alcatraz Island was discovered by Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775. Juan was a Spaniard, who was charting the coast of North America. It was he who named the island La Isla De Los Alcatraz.
La Isla de los Alcatraz translates to mean “Island of the Pelican”. The island is home to more than 100 different kinds of birds, among its residents are the endangered Brown Pelican and the Peregrine Falcon.
Other interesting trivia facts about Alcatraz:
– Prisoners were not executed on Alcatraz. State executions were carried out in San Quentin.
– Alcatraz is located in San Francisco Bay. The island is about 22 acres in size and has no water source of its own. Aside from its vast bird population, the only other animal residents on the island are salamanders, slugs and deer mice.
– Alcatraz is home to the first light house on the West coast of the USA. The lighthouse which was completed in 1854 stands 166 feet tall. To warn ships of the danger, a heavy bell was added to the lighthouse which was struck by a mechanical hammer every ten seconds. Continue readingGoogle+