The last federal inmates — 27 "pale, quiet men" — left the island in San Francisco Bay by boat for transfer to other prisons. Alcatraz had held the Los Angeles mobster Mickey Cohen until a month earlier. The crumbing prison was abandoned after a couple of escape tries and the increasing costs of maintaining a high-security institution reachable only by boat. Nice history piece at the San Francisco Chronicle, talking to a former guard and former inmate.
Also in our Bay Area report: The damage from a March 8 fire at Berkeley landmark Chez Panisse is worse than first thought. An April 15 target date for reopening is not realistic.