This Day in History: Battle of Alcatraz

Today marks the sixtieth anniversary of a bloody escape attempt from prison turned tourist attraction, Alcatraz.

During the afternoon of May 2nd, 1946, five prisoners put into action a series of carefully planned events which all came to naught when some prison guard flouted institutional rules and failed to return a key to its rightful spot. The key happened to be the one that would release the prisoners from the recreation yard. Thus began a two day siege during which the help of the marines and FBI were enlisted, grenades were lobbed and lives lost.

Three of the prisoners who helped spearhead the breakout were killed in the fight, two others were tried, convicted and executed two years later, and one received a life sentence but was granted his freedom in 1973. The event inspired a Burt Lancaster movie called “Brute Force” that is billed as “unusual at the time for the level of violence it portrayed.” Happy Friday!

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that today is also the birthday of Dwayne Johnson, AKA “The Rock”, which is also the nickname of our famed landmark! Eerie.–Andy Wright

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