Alcatraz: 250 Years on the Rock

Alcatraz is America’s most notorious island, and also its most misunderstood. The Rock is actually a layer cake of history, beginning with its first sighting by Europeans in 1769 up through its present status as the top paid tourist attraction in San Francisco.

In this talk, former National Park Ranger and historian John Martini will focus both on the island’s infamous history as a federal penitentiary, which operated from 1934 to 1963, and also its lesser-known roles as a Civil War fortress, a political prison for Confederate sympathizers, and a military prison for recalcitrant U.S. Army soldiers and Native American warriors.

Other important eras covered in the talk include the Native American Occupation of 1969-1971, Alcatraz in American popular culture (especially the movies), the seldom-seen tunnels beneath the prison buildings, and its evolution as a National Park site.

Free! Registration is required. Please Note: This is a virtual program via Zoom. Participants will receive a link to the program via email upon completing registration.