Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in dates, pecans, and 2 teaspoons orange rind. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Bring orange juice, remaining sugar, and remaining rind to a boil in a saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
Run a knife around edge of cake gently; punch holes in cake with a wooden pick. Drizzle glaze over warm cake. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.