Category Archives: People

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: Goya’s Basque Connection

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes is one of the most recognized and celebrated painters in the world. A romanticist, he is considered to be one of the greatest portraitists of his time. His paintings often depicted the reality and brutality that surrounded him, a darkness in his style that became particularly prevalent after a sickness […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Cristina Iglesias and Her Newest Creation, Hondalea

Donostia, the capital of Gipuzkoa, is a city filled with a myriad of things to see and do. From the Parte Vieja, where one can wander all night sampling pintxos, to the wonderful beaches, to the history of the San Telmo museum, there is so much to do. And, thanks to Cristina Iglesias, a sculptor […]

Basque Fact of the Week: John Ascuaga

John Acuaga was an icon of the gambling industry in Northern Nevada. Even in high school, which he attended in Notus, Idaho, he had big dreams. His yearbook claimed “He would own the biggest gambling den in Reno.” John was known for his gregarious personality and his constant floor presence, where he would meet guests […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Saint Ignatius, Founder of the Jesuits

Note that, if you get this post via email, the return-to address goes no where, so please write blas@buber.net if you want to get in touch with me. Basques were relatively late-comers to Christianity, holding on to their pre-Christian ways longer than many of their neighbors. However, when they did embrace the new religion, they […]

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: A Basque in Lunch atop a Skyscraper

Lunch atop a Skyscraper is one of the most iconic photographs ever taken. Taken in 1932, it features 11 men casually eating their lunch while sitting upon a crossbeam dangling above New York City. The photo was a publicity stunt, taken to promote the construction of Rockefeller Center. Even so, much about the photo remains […]