With respect to your MySQL date function syntax question, you might want to look it up. Personally, I would be a little embarrassed to ask such a question; I would be afraid people would think I was lazy or expected everything to be handed to me on a platter.
With respect to naming conventions, I think it is a bad idea to identify table columns with reserved words (even if the reserved token isn't reserved in the database or language I'm using). In this case, "DATE" is a reserved type in Oracle, which is a pretty commonly-used database. If you ever ported your code to using Oracle on the back end, you'd have to change that column name (admittedly, this may not be a worry for you). In any case, it is not a very informative name for a table column -- IMO that's like calling your IP address field "STRING".