Category Archives: History

Basque Fact of the Week: The Basque Ice Cream Maker

We are all familiar with the Basques who, like my dad and his uncles before him, came to the United States on contracts to herd sheep. They all came looking for opportunity and for a better life than what they could make back in the “old country.” But, sheepherding wasn’t the only route to a […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Earliest Documentation of the Word “Euskara” is in the Name of a Basque-Muslim

We all know how central language is to the identity of the Basques. Indeed, the Basque word for a Basque person, euskaldun, means one who has, or speaks, Euskara, the Basque language. However, given that Euskara has not been a written language for very long, it isn’t clear exactly where the word Euskara comes from. […]

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 […]