Forty. It has large religious significance and crosses many faiths*. The use of forty is common through out the bible, which is the area that I am most familiar. Noah's Ark was rained on for forty days and nights. Moses and the Jewish people after their exodus wandered the desert for forty years. Jesus spent forty days in the desert in meditation. Lent is forty days long. These are a few of the more popular examples.
For the most part, the significance of forty is that it is "a long period of time."
Are we watching the true unfolding of forty? Is forty truly a magical number? Forty years after the assignation of Dr. Martin Luther King, THE civil rights icon, the people of the United States elect a man with African ancestry. Forty.
More thoughts and links later. Right now, I want to watch this inauguration.