this day in crime history: march 21, 1963

On this date in 1963, the prison they called “The Rock” was closed by the Department of Justice. The federal penitentiary at Alcatraz opened in 1934. At its peak, it held over 200 inmates. Some of its more famous residents include Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert “Birdman” Stroud.

For more info, check out these sites:

National Park Service Alcatraz website

Alcatraz History

Alcatraz Cruises

Ghosts of Alcatraz


5 thoughts on “this day in crime history: march 21, 1963

  1. John D.:
    For some reason I always look forward to this story.
    (must gave something to do with Sam Neill, and what lies UNDER the compound.

    Good post.

    Stay safe


  2. It kind of amazes me that the place was only open for less than 30 years. Seems like it was another government boondoggle. Our state penitentiary in western PA was built in 1882 and is still open. Seems like at 134 years old we got a little more bang for the buck………………….


    • Auburn Correctional Facility in central New York was built in 1818. It’s almost 200 years old and is still in business. 🙂

      I think their idea was to create a Devil’s Island-type environment. Turns out it was a lot more expensive than they thought it would be.


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