Although a few states in the U.S. and various countries have renamed the holiday, for the most part, here in America, we still celebrate Christopher Columbus' liberation of the Native American people from millenia of freedom and disease-free life.
This existence of this holiday is fueled equally by the misguided pride of Italian-Americans (it is not even entirely sure that Columbus was Italian) and the sad state of history in the American public school system. How many years was I told he proved the Earth's spherical nature and that he landed in America and not San Salvador? Too many.
Genodical Cheat Sheet (via en.wikipedia.org)
-It has been estimated that the Native population of what is now Mexico was reduced from 30 million to only 3 million over the first four decades of Spanish rule.
-Various estimates of the pre-contact Native population of the continental U.S. and Canada range from 1.8 to over 12 million. Over the next four centuries, their numbers were reduced to a low of 237,000 by 1900.