August 11, 1934: The first federal prisoners arrive at Alcatraz.

Between 1934 and 1963, San Francisco’s famous island prison held an number of notorious criminals - from Al Capone to “Machine Gun Kelly” to Alvin “Creepy” Karpis. The uninhabited island was named Isla de los Alcatraces when the Spanish explored it in the 18th century, and in the 1800s, it became an American military prison, which it remained until its acquisition by the Department of Justice and subsequent transformation into a federal penitentiary - designed to hold criminals too troublesome for other prisons. 

According to this list, the prison’s first inmate was Frank L. Bolt, originally incarcerated for committing the egregious crime of… sodomy; the second, Charles R. Copp, was imprisoned for robbery and attempted assault. Al Capone, prisoner number eighty-five, arrived some days later.

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    unhistorical August 11, 1934: The first federal prisoners arrive at Alcatraz.
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