Texans celebrate Juneteenth to mark the end of slavery

June 19 marks the day slaves in Texas learned they were set free two and a half years earlier.

It was June 19, 1865 that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston to announce the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln had freed the slaves.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in Dallas is hosting a free Juneteenth event at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. It will have food, arts and crafts, games, health screenings, cooking demonstrations and more. www.dallasmlkcenter.com/juneteenth

The Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Community Outreach Center in Dallas will host a Juneteenth economic forum with speakers focusing on the Southern Sector economy. People can register to attend the free forum from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. www.zwhjcoc.org/juneteenth-registration-form-2019

An Evening With! A History and Celebration of Juneteenth with historian Donald Payton and the South Dallas Concert Choir will be held at the Hall of State in Fair park at 6:30 pm. Reservations for the free event are not required but requested. bit.ly/AEWPayton19

Mercury Studios in Irving also has an immersive, pop-up museum for people to explore slavery and abolition. 

"12 Score & 3 Years Ago: The Unfinished Promise of Unity" has over 100 artifacts and historical documents, five augmented reality experiences and educational tools that provide a fascinating insight into our country's history.

The exhibit is open to the public on the weekends of June 29-30 and July 4-7. www.mercuryone.org