Discover SF! at Alcatraz Island

On the second week of the Discover SF! Youth Heritage Program, our group of students and program leaders visited a National Historic Landmark, Alcatraz Island. Park Ranger Benny Batom introduced us to the history of the island through various artifacts from the significant time periods of the island’s history. 2015-06-24 11.39.36 The time periods of Alcatraz Island that we covered during our visit were: its use as a U.S. military fort (1850-1934), its use as a federal prison (1934-1963), its occupation by American Indians (1969-1971), and its current role as part of the National Park Service (1973-present). As we toured the island, we looked closely at the buildings and other man-made changes to the island and tried to decipher the time period it was from. This helped our group of middle school students further understand the layers of history, where they converged and where they diverge. Did you know the island’s name stems from a 1775 map by Lt. Juan Manuel de Ayala where he named it “isla de los alcatraces” (Island of the Pelicans)? The island is home to a large waterbird population that nests on the island from February through September. During our visit, we got to see many of the nesting gulls and their babies. Want to know more about the History & Culture of Alcatraz Island?  I invite you to visit it’s dedicated webpage at: http://www.nps.gov/alca/learn/historyculture/index.htm 2015-06-24 11.39.31

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