To get started reading from a file I suggest one of these:
Scanner (Java 2 Platform SE 5.0)
BufferedReader (Java 2 Platform SE 5.0)
Although, I am partial to the Scanner class, both work nicely. Now, without knowing whether you are going to just use a one dimensional array of type String to hold the data or something more object oriented, I can't really help much more than that. When you say "name variables" and "date variables" it is impossible to deduce if you are suggesting there is a name class and a date class or if they are just Strings. Showing the code that you have so far could help out a bit.