Jan. 9 would have been the late president's 100th birthday. He was born in 1913 and died in 1994.
The former president's daughter, Tricia Nixon Cox, was one of the honored guests at the ceremony. Bruce Herschensohn, a former Nixon speechwriter, had some fond words.
"On this centennial of his birthday, we miss him more than ever. We miss his character, his courage, his goodness," said Herschensohn.
Sunday's ceremony begins a year-long commemoration of Nixon's life.