Last night I was watching a great TV series called Making of the Mob Chicago. The show answered a question I have always had. Why did Al Capone get shipped to the extreme maximum security on the Rock when he was just sentenced as a tax evader?

In the show, they explain that the president had alotted a ton of money for the prison's construction and used Alfonse to promote the project. Al Capone was the most famous gangster of all time and he definitely raised the profile of Alcatraz.

August 11, 1934

A group of federal prisoners classified as "most dangerous" arrives at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop situated 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay. The convicts–the first civilian prisoners to be housed in the new high-security penitentiary–joined a few dozen military prisoners left over from the island’s days as a U.S. military prison.

Alcatraz was an uninhabited seabird haven when it was explored by Spanish Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775. He named it Isla de los Alcatraces, or “Island of the Pelicans.” Fortified by the Spanish, Alcatraz was sold to the United States in 1849. In 1854, it had the distinction of housing the first lighthouse on the coast of California. Read More

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