Emirates Team Zew Zealand races ahead of Oracle Team USA as they pass in front of Alcatraz Island and the San Francisco skyline during race 5 of the America's Cup Finals on September 10, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Alcatraz Island looms large just over 1 mile off the coast of San Francisco. The island was the home of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary from 1934-1963, but had roots as a military prison all the way back to the 1860s and its new cellhouse construction in 1910-1912.

The Rock, as it has affectionately been known, was the home to some of the most notorious criminals in American history, including Al Capone, Whitey Bulger and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. It was also quite well known as a nearly inescapable fortress.

Perhaps the most famous of those escape attempts took place on May 2, 1946 and led to the infamous Battle of Alcatraz. Two corrections officers and three prisoners were killed in the aftermath of the failed escape, which ended with a siege on May 4, 1946.

Today, The Rock is a major tourist attraction and a National Park offering tours of portions of the island. We look back on some iconic images of Alcatraz on the anniversary of the end of the Battle of Alcatraz.

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