The first lighthouse on the Pacific, Alcatraz Island was lit for the first time on June 1, 1854. Fitted with a third order Fresnel lens, the light had a range of 19 miles. During the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the tower was damaged then rebuilt in 1909. After the lighthouse was automated in 1963, the prison shut down shortly thereafter.
The island was declared a National Recreation Area in 1972 and placed on the list of National Historical Landmarks in 1986. Alcatraz Island has been featured in at least ten movies including “Escape from Alcatraz” and “The Rock”.
By Gail Borgman McGuire ©2017