1934: A group of federal prisoners classified as “most dangerous” arrives at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop situated 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay. The convicts, the first civilian prisoners to be housed in the new high-security penitentiary, joined a few dozen military prisoners left over from the island’s days as a U.S. military prison.
2014: Actress Lauren Bacall, who shot to fame in her debut film, 1944’s “To Have and Have Not,” in which she appeared opposite Humphrey Bogart, with whom she would have a legendary romance, dies at her New York City home at age 89. In a career that spanned nearly 70 years, the smoky-voiced Bacall made more than 40 films, including “The Big Sleep,” (1946) “How to Marry a Millionaire” (1953) and “The Mirror Has Two Faces” (1996).
1961: Cary Stayner, the serial killer convicted in the grisly murders of four women near Yosemite National Park, is born on this day in 1961. In 1972, Stayner’s childhood took a tragic turn when his younger brother Steven, then 7, was kidnapped while walking home from school in the family’s hometown of Merced, California. Steven’s abductor, convicted child molester Kenneth Parnell, held him captive for seven years before he managed to escape and return home. Compounding the tragedy, Steven was killed in a 1989 motorcycle accident
1935: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Social Security Act. Press photographers snapped pictures as FDR, flanked by ranking members of Congress, signed into law the historic act, which guaranteed an income for the unemployed and retirees. FDR commended Congress for what he considered to be a “patriotic” act.
1914: The American-built waterway across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is inaugurated with the passage of the U.S. vessel “Ancon,” a cargo and passenger ship.
1896: While salmon fishing near the Klondike River in Canada’s Yukon Territory, George Carmack reportedly spots nuggets of gold in a creek bed. His lucky discovery sparks the last great gold rush in the American West.
1984: The serial burglar and rapist known as “the Fox” breaks into a house and physically assaults a girl, her boyfriend and the girl’s brother near the village of Brampton, England. After raping the woman, the attacker proceeded to remove any traces of evidence from both his victim’s body and the surrounding area. The attack turned out to be a part of a crime spree that had begun in the spring of 1984 when a hooded burglar broke into several houses in an area north of London. A few months later, the thief turned to rape.