100 Museums to Visit Before You Die

Alcatraz Island

Location: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

A sign on the island reads, "break the rules and you go to prison. Break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz." The maximum security prison turned museum is a spot dense in urban mythology and recent history and has caste its own shadow in the icy San Francisco Bay. One of the most infamous escapes from the prison involved three inmates: Frank Morris and Clarence and John Anglin. Allegedly, the three men fashioned tools to aid their escape, including a drill comprised partly of a vacuum motor that helped to burrow through the concrete walls of their cells to a nearby ventilation shaft. On the evening of June 11, 1962, Frank, Clarence and John made their way through the ventilation shaft and down to the beach. The escape of the three men was considered an embarrassment, and the prison claimed that the inmates did not escape Alcatraz alive, but drowned shortly after their departure into the bay. The raft was eventually found nearby, but the bodies of Frank Morris and Clarence and John Anglin have never been found. Visit Alcatraz Island by ferry for more fascinating stories and artifacts from when the prison was still in use.

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