Americans spend the 4th of July at Ben Franklin's house

(CBS) -- It would be tough to find a 4th of July party with a more fitting location abroad. These American tourists have come to Benjamin Franklin's old house in London.

Franklin lived here for 16 years before returning to America in 1775. The next year he signed the Declaration of Independence.

From this home in the heart of London, he lobbied the British government to give more rights to Americans who were paying taxes.

"This is really the eve of the American Revolution. This is where he was fighting for the stamp act, taxations with representation. Very politically important years," said Mallory Horrill of the Benjamin Franklin House.

For Laura Smith and her husband, on vacation from Florida, understanding what took place here is important.

"They don't know at all, that's why I teach civics in Orlando to seventh graders. We have mandated it in our state because Americans don't know anything about American history," Smith said.

After their history lesson, the Smiths are heading out to continue celebrating the 4th of July.

"I have a crown to wear in front of Buckingham Palace that's red, white and blue, just to be silly."

It took decades of painstaking work to restore Franklin's house. It's been so authentically preserved that movies are shot here.