Click on any of the following links to learn more about various aspects of Alcatraz's history.
In 1850 Alcatraz was declared a military reservation by President Millard Fillmore, and by 1859 troops were permanently garrisoned at the post on Alcatraces for the defense of the Bay Area. Click here to learn more about the military history of the Rock, from 1850 to 1934.To learn more about Fort Alcatraz' role during the Civil War, please visit the Civil War at Alcatraz page.
Click here for a brief timeline of the U.S. Army on the Rock.
Alcatraz is most famous for the 29 years it operated as a U.S. penitentiary. This is due in no small part to Hollywood movies which have created their own not particularly accurate Alcatraz, with underground tunnels and haunted dungeons and other flights of fantasy. Here you can learn more about the real Alcatraz.
There is a wealth of information about Alcatraz on the World Wide Web. Some of it is quite good, and some of it not so good - many myths and misconceptions exist about Alcatraz and its history. This page includes links to some of the websites we recommend as starting points to research more information about Alcatraz and its history.
Did You Know?
In 1895 19 members of the Hopi Tribe were imprisoned by the U.S. Army on Alcatraz Island for resisting policies to "Americanize" their children. Today Hopi children continue to have the opportunity to learn their traditions and language.