In medium saucepan, combine sugar, apples, water and dates. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
Heat oven to 375°. Grease and flour 13×9-inch pan.
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. With pastry blender or fork, cut in margarine until mixture is crumbly. Add brown sugar and rolled oats; mix well.
Press 3 cups of mixture evenly in greased and floured pan. Spread evenly with filling.
Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture; press lightly.
Bake at 375° for 18 to 28 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool; cut into bars.
Makes 36 bars.