Category Archives: History

Basque Fact of the Week: Paulino Uzcudun, the “Basque Woodchopper”

My dad’s favorite sport to watch was boxing. I never asked him why (so many questions were never asked…) but I always assumed that it was because, of the sports on our American TV, boxing was the most straightforward, something he didn’t have to grow up with to understand, unlike American football. However, I recently […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Trees in Basque Politics and Religion

The tree of Gernika is easily the most famous tree in the Basque Country. Once the gathering site where important decisions were made and kings had to take oaths to preserve Basque liberties, it has remained an icon and cultural symbol of the Basque people. However, it is not the only important tree in the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Old Basque Documents in the Americas

The Basques, in their never-ending quest for new fishing and whaling grounds, pushed ever west, encountering Iceland, Greenland, and ultimately what would become Canada. At the same time, they were a large part of the Spanish conquistadors that pushed through South and Central America. It thus should come as no surprise that some of the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Basque Money

Whether we like it or not, money makes the world go around. And it is one of the factors that gives a nation its identity. Can anyone imagine the United States without the greenback? And, that’s just one of the reasons why, for example, the United Kingdom didn’t forego the pound when it originally joined […]

Finding the Voice of the Victims: An Interview with Emma Wilby

I recently read Emma Wilby’s most recent book, Invoking the Akelarre, which I found fascinating. She examines the records from the Basque witch trials of the 1600s, searching for evidence of what the victims who were accused of witchcraft really thought and believed and what was essentially placed in their mouths by their accusers and […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Blas de Lezo, Pegleg and Half-Man

Basques played enormous and outsized roles in the centuries of military activity of both France and Spain. Both countries had colonies across the world, held together through military might. Basques were a large part of that history. Perhaps one of the most distinguished military commanders in all of Spanish history is Blas de Lezo y […]