American Indians have a powwow tradition referred to as a 49 -- it seems to be like a song gathering or contest, and there are "49 songs." Stories about its origins are numerous, but 1849 seems to figure into them.
The great English football team Arsenal went 49 games without defeat in 2003-2004.
The 49th parallel forms a large part of the border between the US and Canada.The 49th Parallel is also the name of a beautiful WWII propaganda movie/travelogue by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger about a U-Boat crew stranded in Canada. Laurence Olivier chews the scenery as a French-Canadian trapper, but the best scenes are shot in a Hutterite community.
In 49 BC, Julius Caeser led his army across the Rubicon, defeated Pompey's army, and was appointed dictator of Rome.
Some forms of Buddhism have the concept of the bardo -- a period of "intermediate experience" between death and rebirth said to last 49 days at most. In some traditions, readings from the Tibetan Book of the Dead will be performed to help transition the deceased through this period.
49 days (7 weeks of 7 days) after Passover is celebrated by Jews as Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks: the day that God gave them the Torah. The same date is also observed by Christians as Pentacost or Whitsunday, the day the Holy Spirit descended on Christ's disciples after the resurrection.
Funk #49 is a fine song by the James Gang, Joe Walsh's band. 49 Bye-Byes is a fine song by Crosby, Stills & Nash. Days of '49 is a fine traditional tune arranged and recorded by Bob Dylan. Thomas Pynchon wrote a short novel called The Crying of Lot 49.
In less momentous news, I was born in Hanford, California, 49 years ago today.