ALCATRAZ PRISON RON JOCSAK 2011 Alcatraz Island is located in San Francisco Bay, 2.4 km offshore from the city of San Francisco. Often referred to as "The Rock", the small 22 acre (8.9 hectare) island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. Today it is home to the abandoned Alcatraz Prison, the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the U.S., early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools and a seabird colony. Landmarks on the island include the Main Cellhouse, Dining Hall, Library, Lighthouse, the ruins of the Warden's House and Officer's Club, Parade Grounds, Building 64, Water Tower, New Industries Building, Model Industries Building, and the Recreation Yard. The United States Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz was acquired by the U.S. Department of Justice on October 12, 1933, and the island became a federal prison in August 1934. Alcatraz was designed to hold prisoners who continuously caused trouble at other federal prisons. On August 11, 1934, the first batch of 137 prisoners arrived at Alcatraz, arriving by railroad from the United States Penitentiary before being escorted to Alcatraz. The prisioners were handcuffed in high security coaches and guarded by some 60 special FBI agents, U.S. Marshals and railway security officials. Most of the prisoners were bank robbers and murderers. During the 29 years it was in use, Alcatraz held some of the most notorious criminals in American history, such as Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz), George "Machine Gun" Kelly, Mickey Cohen, Aurthur R. "Doc" Barker, James "Whitey" Bulger, and Alvin "Creepy" Karpis (who served more time at Alcatraz than any other inmate). It also provided housing for the Bureau of Prisons staff and their families.The penitentiary claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts, two men trying twice; 23 were caught, six were shot and killed during their escape, two drowned, and five are listed as "missing and presumed drowned". The most violent occurred on May 2, 1946, when a failed escape attempt by six prisoners led to the Battle of Alcatraz. On June 11, 1962, Frank Morris, John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin, carried out one of the most intricate escapes ever devised. Beginning on November 20, 1969, a group of Native Americans called United Indians of All Tribes, mostly college students from San Francisco, occupied the island to protest federal policies related to American Indians. The occupiers, who stayed on the island for nearly two years, demanded the island's facilities be adapted and new structures built for an Indian education centre, ecology centre and cultural centre. The American Indians claimed the island by provisions of the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) between the U.S. and the Sioux; they said the treaty promised to return all retired, abandoned or out-of-use federal lands to the Native peoples from whom it was acquired. The Native Americans demanded reparation for the many treaties broken by the US government and for the lands which were taken from so many tribes. During the nineteen months and nine days of occupation by the American Indians, several buildings at Alcatraz were damaged or destroyed by fire, including the recreation hall, the Coast Guard quarters and the warden's home. The origin of the fires is disputed. In 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.