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Alcatraz celebrates 50 years since prison closed

Thursday - 3/21/2013, 7:00pm  ET

AP: 0c5ace87-ea9c-41a7-82a4-7bdc6e57bdd3
File - In this March 21, 1963 file photo the last prisoners depart from Alcatraz Island federal prison in San Francisco. The National Park Service on Thursday celebrated the 50th anniversary of Alcatraz Island's closure as a federal penitentiary with an exhibit of newly discovered photos of the prison's final hours. The new display opened five decades after the last shacked prisoners were taken off the infamous prison in San Francisco Bay that once held the likes of gangsters Al Capone and Mickey Cohen. (AP Photo/File)

JASON DEAREN
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The National Parks Service is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Alcatraz Island's closure as a federal penitentiary with an exhibit of newly discovered photos of the prison's final hours.

The new exhibit opened Thursday on Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay, five decades after the last inmates left the infamous prison that once held the likes of gangsters Al Capone and Mickey Cohen.

Among the visitors marking the occasion was Jim Albright, the last prison guard to leave The Rock in 1963.

Alcatraz started as a fort and became an Army disciplinary barracks before the Bureau of Prisons took it over in 1934 to house some of America's most notorious criminals.

Nine years after the prison closed, Alcatraz became a national park -- and one of California's most popular tourist attractions.


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