Today in History, March 21: 1963 – Alcatraz, the preeminent, harshest prison in the federal system, closes and the worst of the worst are transferred to other prisons in the system. Alcatraz was know for the impossibility of escape due to it’s placement on an island in San Francisco Bay. It had been a military outpost designed to protect shipping in the Bay before becoming a prison. Now it is a Historic site and tourism destination.