Top 10 Alcatraz Prison Facts

Alcatraz Prison FactsWhether you are a native to San Francisco or just visiting on vacation, a trip to Alcatraz Prison must be on the must-do list as well as visiting the many San Francisco museums. There are almost as many Alcatraz Prison facts as there are Golden Gate Bridge facts that tourist may find of interest while touring the prison. Here we have compiled a list of the top 10 Alcatraz Prison Facts.

1. One of the most well-known Alcatraz Prison facts is that no inmate has ever successfully managed to escape in the 29 years that the federal prison was operational.

2. Alcatraz was home to many famous criminals such as Al Capone, Robert Stroud also known as the Birdman of Alcatraz as well as George “Machine Gun” Kelly.

3. The large island of Alcatraz has no freshwater source. Any fresh water is caught by rain barrels.

4. In 1775, Alcatraz was named La Isla de los Alcatraces by the Spanish explorer, Jose Canizares. It is believed it was named this because of the pelicans.

5. The area of the island known as “Little Alcatraz” was renamed “Paul Pry Rock” when an excursion steamer named Paul Pry was shipwrecked.

6. During the Civil War, Alcatraz was home to 39 confederate sympathizers who celebrated Lincoln’s assassination.

7. Alcatraz was also home to several Native American prisoners including 19 of the Hopi tribe who refused to send their children to an English only school.

8. When the cell house was finally completed in 1912, it was the world’s largest steel reinforced structure and still stands today.

9. Al Capone was one of the first prisoners when Alcatraz opened as a Federal Penitentiary in 1934.

10. During WWII, inmates made the fatigues for the soldiers going off to war.

It is easy to see by these interesting Alcatraz Prison facts, that this is one of the most famous San Francisco tourist attractions. While this may not be one of the best things to do in San Francisco with kids, especially if they are young, it is something that is educational and interesting to do.