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On Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 AM Eastern Time , MTV: Music Television goes on the air for the first time ever, with the words (spoken by one of MTV’s creators, John Lack): “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll. and played over footage of the first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia  and of the launch of Apollo 11. The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” was the first music video to air  which initially was available only to homes in parts of New Jersey.

This was followed by the video for Pat Benatar's "You Better Run". The screen went black infrequently when an employee at MTV inserted a tape into a VCR.[16] MTV's lower third graphics that appeared near the beginning and end of music videos eventually used the recognizable Kabel typeface for about 25 years, but these graphics varied on MTV's first day of broadcast; they were set in a different typeface and included information such as the year and record label name.

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