John Bieter graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Social Science and a concentration in Economics. He completed his Masters degree at Boise State University and his thesis was published as An Enduring Legacy: A History of the Basques in Idaho. John earned his doctoral degree from Boston College where he focused his research and teaching interests on Immigration and Ethnicity, the American West, and American Catholicism. Currently, John serves as an advisor for pre-service educators in the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs and as Director of the Center for Basque Studies. He is associate professor in the history department as well.
This audio-visual presentation on the history of the Basques in Idaho is built around a Basque application of Marcus L. Hansen’s “Law of Third Generation Return.” In short, what the son wishes to forget, the grandson wishes to remember. Bieter focuses on each of these generations and the organizations that they established, and what they felt they needed at that time in Idaho. While many may know about the Basques in shepherding, Bieters’ generational research offers a fresh perspective. He first examines the immigrant generation (from 1890 until the early 1920’s), then focuses on the Basque-American generation (from the 1920’s until about 1949), and finally looks at the American-Basque generation (from about 1950 to the present). Each generation has a different perspective to their culture and a different experience in Idaho.
This presentation captures the history of immigration and migration in America. From Native Americans to new American citizens - regardless of our ethnic, religious or racial background - migration is central to our story. This presentation explores key themes that surround these movements: the mixed reception upon coming to America or moving to different regions; the prominence of ports of entry to these stories; the way countries of origin were changed; the great stories of success as well as those of disillusion; the businesses that grew up around movement and the way these migration stories have played out in subsequent generations. From the Pilgrims to Route 66 and even the information superhighway, the movement of people and ideas has been foundational to understanding our country. This presentation helps deepen one’s understanding of these migration stories.
Dr. Bieter uses six stories to explain the formation and legacy of the western identity in America. Originating in the Owyhee Mountians of southwestern Idaho, Bieter exposes the conflict that arises over land disputes such as nineteenth century competing mining claims, 'the last American Indian massacre' and the cattle-sheep wars. In the twenthieth century, Bieter traces how the power of the western identity continues to impact our lives through the saga of Claude Dallas, the Taylor Creek bombing range conflict and the continuing debate over the Owyhee Canyonlands.