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Dec 22, 2010

Alcatraz Island (U.S.): house first lighthouse on the Pacific Coast

Alcatraz Island (sometimes referred to as simply Alcatraz or by pop-culture name, The Rock) is a small island located in the middle of the San Francisco Bay in California, USA. This serves as a lighthouse, the fort military, the military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963, when it became a national recreation areas. The first European to discover the island was Juan de Ayala in 1775, who charted the San Francisco Bay and named the island "La Isla de los Alcatraces", meaning "island of pelicans".
Discovery of gold in California in 1848 brought thousands of ships into San Francisco Bay, creating an urgent need for lighthouses navigation. In response, Alcatraz lighthouse # 1 and turn founded in the summer of 1853. Because of natural isolation in the middle of the bay, surrounded by cold water and strong sea currents, Alcatraz soon be considered by the U.S. Army as an ideal location for holding captives. Alcatraz Army's first long term prison, and had already started to build a reputation as a tough detention facility by exposing inmates to harsh conditions and iron discipline miserly. Due to increased operational costs due to its location, the Military Department decided to close the famous prison in 1934, and later taken over by the Ministry of Justice and then became the famous federal prision and finally a place of recreation.


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