FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
United States Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island, also known simply as Alcatraz (English: /ˈælkəˌtræz/, Spanish: [alkaˈtɾas] “the gannet”) or The Rock was a maximum security federal prison on Alcatraz Island, 1.25 miles (2.01 km) off the coast of San Francisco, California, United States, the site of a fort since the 1850s; the main prison building was built in 1910–1912 as a United States Army military prison.
The United States Department of Justice acquired the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Pacific Branch, on Alcatraz on 12 October 1933. The island became adapted and used as a prison of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in August 1934 after the buildings were modernized and security increased. Given this high security and the island’s location in the cold waters and strong currents of San Francisco Bay, prison operators believed Alcatraz to be escape-proof and America’s strongest prison.
The three-story cellhouse included the four main cell blocks – A-block through D-block, the warden’s office, visitation room, the library, and the barber shop. The prison cells typically measured 9 feet (2.7 m) by 5 feet (1.5 m) and 7 feet (2.1 m) high. The cells were primitive and lacked privacy. They were furnished with a bed, desk, washbasin, a toilet on the back wall, and few items other than a blanket. African Americans were segregated from other inmates in cell designation due to racism during the Jim Crow-era. D-Block housed the worst inmates, and six cells at its end were designated “The Hole”. Prisoners with behavioral problems were sent to these for periods of often brutal punishment. The dining hall and kitchen extended from the main building. Prisoners and staff ate three meals a day together. The Alcatraz Hospital was located above the dining hall.
Prison corridors were named after major U.S. streets, such as Broadway and Michigan Avenue, of New York and Chicago, respectively. Working at the prison was considered a privilege for inmates. Those who earned privileges were employed in the Model Industries Building and New Industries Building during the day, actively involved in providing for the military in jobs such as sewing and woodwork, and performing various maintenance and laundry chores.
After being closed in 1963 as a prison, Alcatraz has been reopened as a public museum. It is one of San Francisco’s major tourist attractions, attracting some 1.5 million visitors annually. Now operated by the National Park Service‘s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the former prison is being restored and maintained.
The phrase “Dog Days” refers to the hottest days of summer. The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days: the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. The rising of Sirius does not actually affect the weather (some of our hottest and most humid days occur after August 11), but for the ancient Egyptians, Sirius appeared just before the season of the Nile’s flooding so they used the star as a “watchdog” for that event. Since its rising also coincided with a time of extreme heat, the connection with hot, sultry weather was made for all time.
Some Native American tribes knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full Moon. Others called it the Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon.
Question of the Day
How can I get a scuff mark off my leather recliner?
Try covering it with a one-eighth-inch-thick coating of petroleum jelly. Leave it on overnight or until you see the spot disappear, then wipe it off with paper towels.
Advice of the Day
Dog Days end.
Home Hint of the Day
Here’s a restorative drink to pass around to a work crew on a hot day. Old-timers call it switchel. Mix 1 gallon of water, 2-1/2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of dark molasses, 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of ground ginger.
Word of the Day
An instrument that measures direct solar radiation.
Puzzle of the Day
The Golden State.(Name the U.S. state!)
- Gifford Pinchot (conservationist) – 1865
- Jerry Falwell (evangelist) – 1933
- Hulk Hogan (wrestler) – 1953
- Joe Jackson (musician) – 1954
- Viola Davis (actress) – 1965
- Alyson Stoner (actress) – 1993
- Edith Wharton (author) – 1937
- Jackson Pollock (artist) – 1956
- Herb Brooks (coached the U.S. hockey team to the Miracle on Ice” victory over the Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympics”) – 2003
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver (founder of the Special Olympics) – 2009
- Robin Williams (actor) – 2014
- Mars moon Deimos discovered– 1877
- The first prisoners arrived at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary– 1934
- The first baseball game televised in color was between the Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Dodgers, broadcasted from Ebbets Field. The Dodgers won 8-1– 1951
- A major hurricane brought Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, the worst inland flooding since 1607– 1940
- The temperature in Burlington, Vermont, reached 101 degrees F– 1944