31 years ago today, audiences journeyed to the year 2029 then back to the ’80s as a Terminator hunted down Sarah Connor, seemingly an ordinary woman but actually the all-important mother of the leader in the fight for the survival of the human race. “The Terminator” opened in theaters on October 26, 1984.

The sci-fi action movie was No. 1 at the box office for its first two weeks in theaters. It has since spawned four sequels, several video games, action figures and theme park rides and was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the American National Film Registry.

James Cameron directed the film with a relatively low budget — this was years before he would be the big shot given massive budgets for blockbusters like “Titanic” and “Avatar.”

Other notable October 26 happenings in pop culture history:

• 1935: Judy Garland, at age 12, first enchanted a public audience of listeners with her voice when she sang on Wallace Beery’s NBC radio show.

• 1970: Elton John’s “Your Song” was released.

• 1979: When a Stranger Calls” — ranked at No. 107 on HitFix’s Ultimate Horror Poll — opened in theaters.

• 1981: The 10th and penultimate season of “M*A*S*H” premiered on CBS.

• 1981: Queen and David Bowie’s single “Under Pressure” was released in the U.K.

• 1985: Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love For You,” from her debut self-titled album, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was on the chart for a total of 22 weeks.

• 2004: Apple unveiled the U2 Special Edition iPod with a black enclosure, red Click Wheel and custom engraving of U2 band member signatures.

Birthdays: “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane (turns 42 today), “The Flash” actor Tom Cavanagh (52), “The Princess Bride” actor Cary Elwes (53), “Napoleon Dynamite” actor Jon Heder (38), “The Practice” actor Dylan McDermott (54), “The Flying Nun” actress Shelley Morrison (79), “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak (69), country artist Keith Urban (48)

An enthusiast of time travel stories, film scores, avocados and Charades, Emily Rome is an alumna of Loyola Marymount University and a native of beautiful Washington State. Emily’s writing has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyNRome.