The identify Alcatraz is derived from the Spanish “Alcatraces.” In 1775, the Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala was once the primary to sail into what is referred to now as San Francisco Bay – his expedition mapped the bay and named one of the vital 3 islands Alcatraces. Over the years, the identify was once Anglicized to Alcatraz. Whilst the precise which means continues to be debated, Alcatraz is typically outlined as which means “pelican” or “peculiar fowl.”
In 1850, a presidential order put aside the island for imaginable use as a United States army reservation. The California Gold Rush, the ensuing increase within the enlargement of San Francisco, and the desire to offer protection to San Francisco Bay led the U.S. Military to construct a Castle, or castle, on the most sensible of the island within the early 1850s. The Military additionally made plans to put in greater than 100 cannons at the island, making Alcatraz essentially the most closely fortified army website online at the West Coast. At the side of Castle Level and Lime Level, Alcatraz shaped a “triangle of protection” designed to offer protection to the doorway to the bay. The island was once additionally the website online of the primary operational lighthouse at the West Coast of the US.
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By way of the overdue 1850s, the primary army prisoners have been being housed at the island. Whilst the defensive necessity of Alcatraz decreased over the years (the island by no means fired its weapons in combat), its position as a jail would proceed for greater than 100 years. In 1909, the Military tore down the Castle, leaving its basement degree to function the basis for a brand new army jail. From 1909 thru 1911, the army prisoners on Alcatraz constructed the brand new jail, which was once designated the Pacific Department, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks for the U.S. Military. It was once this jail development that later changed into well-known as “The Rock.”
The U.S. Military used the island for greater than 80 years-from 1850 till 1933, when the island was once transferred to the U.S. Division of Justice to be used by way of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Federal Executive had determined to open a maximum-security, minimum-privilege prison to take care of essentially the most incorrigible inmates in Federal prisons, and to turn the law-abiding public that the Federal Executive was once desirous about preventing the rampant crime of the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties.