Category Archives: History

Basque Fact of the Week: Biarritz

The Basque city of Biarritz, located in Iparralde in the provice of Lapurdi, was recently in the news as it hosted the G7 summit. Much was made of especially the first ladies strolling and visiting what is now a popular tourist and surfing destination. It was a playing spot for kings and queens. But, Biarritz […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Tree of Gernika

The Tree of Gernika is one of the most iconic symbols of the Basque Country, featuring prominently on the coats-of-arms of the province of Bizkaia and thus of Euskal Herria. The fueros of Bizkaia specifically call out the tree as the place where people came to meet and any Bizkaian captured for any crime had […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Jordan Valley, the Little Basque Town in Oregon

The American West was a strong draw for many young Basques seeking opportunity. Jordan Valley, Oregon, was one of those areas that provided opportunity for young Basques. Jordan Valley first attracted miners around 1863 when gold was discovered. The first Basques arrived soon after, in 1890, as part of the sheep industry. So many Basques […]

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 […]