On June 12, 1962, guards discovered three prisoners had escaped from their cells on the infamous island prison of Alcatraz, California. The men were the only prisoners ever to have escaped from Alcatraz, although there is no evidence they escaped the turbulent, icy waters of the San Francisco Bay.The three bank robbers (Frank Lee Morris, Clarence Anglin, and John Anglin) had planned their escape in precise detail. They collected hair from the prison barbershop, and kept soap and toilet paper. With these materials, they created masks of their own faces. The crude masks were realistic enough to fool guards checking the bunks at night.The prisoners had spent a year tunneling through their concrete cells using sharpened spoons. The tunnels led to a ventilation shaft, which then led to the roof. The men climbed down a pipe to the rugged shore of “The Rock.” They made a flimsy, homemade raft out of raincoats and either driftwood or quick-dry cement.The raincoat raft eventually washed up on nearby Angel Island, but no trace of the prisoners was ever found. Although Alcatraz is just over a kilometer (nearly a mile) from the city of San Francisco, the cold currents of San Francisco Bay are strong and dangerous. Few historians think the men could have survived.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry cement Noun
hard material used as a building material or a binding agent for stronger building materials such as concrete.
hard building material made from mixing cement with rock and water.
basic or raw.
steady, predictable flow of fluid within a larger body of that fluid.
Encyclopedic Entry: current driftwood Noun
pieces of wood that have traveled on currents in a body of water and drifted on shore.
to get away.
at some point in the future.
data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.
weak or ineffective.
having a very bad reputation.
buildings that house convicted criminals and people accused of a crime and awaiting trial.
having an irregular or jagged surface.
violent or chaotic.
movement or circulation of fresh air in a closed environment. Also called air circulation.