When Did Alcatraz Open?


Quick Answer

The federal prison that operated on Alcatraz Island opened in 1934 and closed its doors in 1963. Alcatraz closed largely because of high operational costs incurred by its isolation in the San Francisco Bay, as well as mounting renovation expenses.

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Full Answer

The federal prison was not the first of its kind on the island; the U.S. military operated a prison from 1850 until 1933, when control of the island was transferred to the Department of Justice. After the closure of the federal prison, the island was abandoned until 1969, when Native American groups occupied the island. They were evicted by 1971. The island was part of the creation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1972, and as of 2014 continues to be a historical tourist destination.

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