Category Archives: History

Basque Fact of the Week: Basques and Chocolate

As in many places, chocolate is a big part of Basque life. On birthdays, instead of the birthday cake familiar in the United States, Basques often drink a cup of liquid chocolate. It wasn’t so long ago, in the early 1800s, that chocolate was a common part of breakfast in the Basque Country. It was […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Earliest Written Evidence of Euskara

Euskara, the language spoken by the Basque people, is now spoken by about 750,000 people. The language is perhaps the most singularly important feature identifying the Basque people. Indeed, the word for a Basque person in Euskara — euskaldun — means ‘one who has Euskara.’ Thus, the history of the language itself is of great […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Gernika Was Not the Only, nor Even the First, Basque Town Bombed During the Spanish Civil War

One of the most infamous episodes in the Spanish Civil War is the bombing of Gernika, in which the German Luftwaffe’s Condor Legion attacked the Basque town on Monday, April 26, 1937, starting around 4:30pm in the afternoon. Monday was a market day, normally bringing thousands of people to the small town in the heart […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Today is Aberri Eguna, or Basque Fatherland Day

Aberri Eguna On! Happy Aberri Eguna! Aberri Eguna, coinciding with Easter every year, is a celebration of the Basque Country. It has always had a political aspect, with events organized by the various Basque nationalist parties. However, it has also always had a cultural aspect, which has been more emphasized in Basque communities outside of […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Simón Bolívar, the Liberator, had Roots in Bizkaia

Known as the Liberator, Simón Bolívar is a national hero to many South American countries. Under his leadership, Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama gained their independence from Spain. He also became president of what was then called Grand Columbia, encompassing the modern countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador. Inspired by the American […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The First Person to (Intentionally) Sail Around the World was Basque

In the United States, at least when I was a kid, we learned that the first person to circumnavigate the globe — to sail around the world — was Ferdinand Magellan. In reality, however, Magellan died in the Philippines, and he never made it all the way. He left Spain with 5 ships but only […]