The date type definitely doesn't have any member functions, because they didn't exist in C. As suggested above, C programmers used getdate exactly as C++ programmers do, because structs already existed in C.
As for how you can learn more about C++, I suggest that you get "The C++ Programming Language", by Bjarne Stroustrup, which I believe has the references you're looking for. Unfortunately, it's not very accessible to relative newcomers to the language, as it assumes too much about your prior knowledge. I'm sure Bjarne would disagree with that assessment, but then he obviously didn't have a novice explaining her confusion to him.
To be fair, it would be an immense task to try to explain the entire language in the amount of detail that I have used in the "Who's Afraid of ..." series. At some point, it's necessary to assume that the reader has some experience using the language.
As for getting too many questions from readers, I'm not too worried about that. After all, my readers have leapt to my defense on a number of occasions, and have contributed many wonderful reviews of my books on Amazon.com. I suspect part of the reason is my willingness to try to help them over the rough spots, so it seems a fair exchange.
However, it isn't a very efficient use of my time to answer the same questions over and over, which is the reason for this discussion group.