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Alcatraz celebrates 50 years since prison closed

2:14 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
Alcatraz. Photo by Justin Sullivan, Getty Images.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- 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.

JASON DEAREN, Associated Press

Associated Press

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