Category Archives: History

Basque Fact of the Week: The Basque History of Boise

Boise, Idaho, is one of the centers of Basque culture in the United States. The home of the Basque Block, which features the Boise Basque Center, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, a fronton, the Basque Market, and the restaurants Bar Gernika and Leku Ona, it is also home to the Oinkari Basque Dancers and […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Jeanne d’Albret, the Queen of Nafarroa

The history of Europe, with its myriad kings, queens, and royal intrigue, is confusing and convoluted. There were some 19 Kings of France named Louis and at least 4 Henrys. The same Henry could be number III or IV depending on which title you consider and which period of his life you examine. On the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Bromo, the Basque Double Agent of World War II

Double agents are a trope of movies, their uncertain loyalties adding tension and drama to the story. However, they are inspired by real men and women that played sides against one another. During World War II, a Basque man from Bizkaia, José Laradogoitia Menchaca, actually served as a double agent. This “Basque shepherd, swindler and […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Juan Zumárraga, First Bishop of Mexico

Basques, with their adventurous spirit and ambitions for a better life, were key players in the conquest and history of the Americas. Reminders of that history are everywhere, from the names of towns (Durango, Colorado and the state of Durango in Mexico) to some of the most influential figures in American history, such as Simón […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Disappearance of Jesús Galíndez Suárez

The aftermath of Spanish Civil War and World War II forced many Basque intelligentsia to flee their native land and settle elsewhere. Indeed, the Basque government itself was in exile. Many of those Basques eventually found their way to the Americas where they became important figures, both representing the cause of the Basque government or […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Juan Bautista de Anza I and II, Explorers of the North American West

As part of the conquest of the Americas, Basques played an outsized role. They were there for many of the pivotal events that ended up shaping both continents. This is no less true for what would become the United States. Far west, in what eventually became California, Juan Bautista de Anza was an explorer, a […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Other Basque Cities Were Bombed During the Spanish Civil War

A couple of weeks ago, on the 84th anniversary of the bombing of Gernika, I posted about Picasso’s Guernica, and how it was inspired by those horrific events. Eneko Sagarbide and Jabier Aldekozea pointed out that Gernika was not the only, nor even the first, Basque city bombed during the Spanish Civil War. In fact, […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Picasso’s Guernica

Tomorrow marks 84 years since the bombing of Gernika, that day during the Spanish Civil War when Hitler’s Air Force, at the behest of Franco, bombed the civilian population of the Basque village on a Monday, market day. It was one of the first aerial bombings of a civilian population, though other Basque towns, notably […]

The Power of Story: An Interview with Begoña Echeverria and Annika Speer

On April 26, 1937, the Basque city of Gernika was bombed. This, and other disastrous events during the Spanish Civil War, led to thousands of Basque children being evacuated from the Basque Country. In their play, Picasso Presents Gernika, Drs. Begoña Echeverria and Annika Speer, both professors at the University of California, Riverside, explore the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Sanchos of Pamplona

If there ever was a single political entity that encompassed all of what we now think of as the Basque Country — Euskal Herria with its seven provinces — it was the Kingdom of Nafarroa, originally known as the Kingdom of Pamplona. On the border of what later became France and Spain, it enjoyed great […]