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Alcatraz

Alcatraz reveals stories of American incarceration, justice, and our common humanity. This small island was once a fort, a military prison, and a maximum security federal penitentiary. In 1969, the Indians of All Tribes occupied Alcatraz for 19 months in the name of freedom and Native American civil rights. 

To those who only know the Hollywood version, the rich history of Alcatraz is surprising. Civil War fortress, infamous federal prison, bird sanctuary, first lighthouse on the West Coast, and the birthplace of the American Indian Red Power movement: These are just a few of the fascinating stories of the Rock. Alcatraz Island is a designated National Historic Landmark for its significant contribution to the nation's history.

Visiting Alcatraz is partially a self-guided experience which you can do at your own pace. National Park Service staff offer numerous free programs throughout the day on a variety of topics: Escapes, military history, American Indian occupation, natural history, and more.
Once on the island, you can stay as long as you wish--there is a ferry departing about every half hour and you can return to San Francisco on any ferry. We generally recommend at least two to three hours to fully visit the island.

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