First of all I do not understand giving holidays for remembering a particular person. Columbus? By many accounts the guy was an asshole. However, I do not argue for the recall of these holidays because the working people deserve these days off. We just shouldn't hide them behind some person. Things get tricky after awhile when you start retiring too many numbers in athletics and while there are more options in the calendar eventually your playing with fire.
If Martin Luther King Jr. had not been gunned down would he have his own holiday? Again I'm not complaining because it usually comes in handy around my birthday but would he? It is debatable, but one thing is certain and that's that we would not have been observing the day so soon. King was killed in 1968 and had his holiday first celebrated in 1986.