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.the Civil War at Alcatraz page.
U.S. Penitentiary Alcatraz (1934-1963)
Alcatraz is most famous for the 29 years it operated as a U.S. penitentiary. Learn how Alcatraz evolved from an army post that contained an army prison, into U.S. Penitentiary Alcatraz.
Indians of All Tribes Occupation
In 1964, and again in 1969 American Indians - many whose tribes were being terminated by federal policy, laid claim to Alcatraz Island. Their 18 month occupation would cause a great change in federal policy towards American Indians that would save the tribes. Learn more about the very important historic occupation by Indians of All Tribes.